MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Prof. Dr. Michael Roden
Director, German Diabetes Center (DDZ)
Leibniz Center for Diabetes Research
at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf
Chair/Professor, Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases
Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf
Director, Department of Endocrinology and Diabetology
University Hospital Düsseldorf
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: The prevalence of obesity, type 2 diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) continue to increase at an alarming rate. Their occurrence has been associated with intake of saturated fats, for example that of palm oil. This study aimed to shed light on how dietary fat initiates metabolic changes which lead to the aforementioned diseases. To this end we provided 14 young healthy volunteers an oral dose of palm oil or placebo randomly, in a crossover manner, with an 8-week washout period between each intervention.
One acute dose of palm oil leads to insulin resistance in the main insulin sensitive tissues of the body: the liver, skeletal muscle and adipose tissue. In the liver, it also results in increased accumulation of triglycerides, increased production of glucose from lipid and amino acid precursors (rather than from glycogen), and increased energy metabolism, as denoted by increased hepatic adenosine triphosphate (ATP) content. Moreover, a similar experiment in mice revealed that one dose of palm oil differentially regulates genes and pathways which are known or suspected regulators of NAFLD, such as lipopolysaccharide (LPS), members of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) family and nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B-cells.