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Circulating linoleic acid is associated with improved glucose tolerance in women after gestational diabetes

Journal article
Authors Ulrika Andersson Hall
N. G. Carlsson
A. S. Sandberg
Agneta Holmäng
Published in Nutrients
Volume 10
Issue 11
ISSN 2072-6643
Publication year 2018
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology
Language en
Keywords Gestational diabetes mellitus, Glucose tolerance, Linoleic acid, Serum fatty acids
Subject categories Diabetology


Women with previously diagnosed gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) are at increased risk of type-2-diabetes mellitus (T2D). We aimed to establish links between glucose tolerance (GT) and serum fatty acid (FA) profile in the transition from GDM to T2D. Six years after GDM, 221 women were grouped as having normal GT (NGT), impaired GT (IGT), or T2D based on oral GT test results. Fasting serum FAs were profiled, anthropometric measures taken, and dietary intake determined. Linoleic acid (LA) was significantly higher in NGT women (p < 0.001) compared with IGT and T2D, and emerged as a strong predictor of low glucose and insulin levels, independently of BMI. Self-reported vegetable oil consumption correlated with LA serum levels and glucose levels. Delta-6-, delta-9-, and stearoyl-CoA-desaturase activities were associated with decreased GT, and delta-5-desaturase activities with increased GT. In a subgroup of women at high risk of diabetes, low LA and high palmitic acid levels were seen in those that developed T2D, with no differences in other FAs or metabolic measurements. Results suggest that proportions of LA and palmitic acid are of particular interest in the transition from GDM to T2D. Interconversions between individual FAs regulated by desaturases appear to be relevant to glucose metabolism. © 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

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