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Fatty Acid Tied to Lower Diabetes and Dyslipidemia Risk

Higher trans-palmitoleate levels linked to lower insulin resistance and incident diabetes rates

TUESDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Higher levels of circulating trans-palmitoleate, which may result from consumption of whole-fat dairy products, appear to be associated with lower insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, and incident diabetes, according to a study in the Dec. 21 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

In a prospective cohort study, Dariush Mozaffarian, M.D., Dr.P.H., of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard University in Boston, and colleagues evaluated 3,736 adults in the Cardiovascular Health Study between 1992 and 2006 to assess whether circulating trans-palmitoleate was independently related to lower metabolic risk and incident type 2 diabetes.

The investigators found that whole-fat dairy consumption was most strongly associated with higher trans-palmitoleate levels, with higher trans-palmitoleate levels linked to slightly lower adiposity, lower triglyceride levels, higher high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, a lower total cholesterol to high-density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio, lower C-reactive protein levels (P = 0.05), and lower insulin resistance. Trans-palmitoleate was also associated with a substantially lower incidence of diabetes. These findings were independent of estimated dairy consumption as well as other fatty acid dairy biomarkers.

"Our findings may explain previously observed metabolic benefits of dairy consumption and support the need for detailed further experimental and clinical investigation," the authors write.

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