Systemic hyperaminoacidemia, induced by either intravenous amino acid infusion or protein ingestion, reduces insulin-stimulated glucose disposal. Studies of mice suggest that the valine metabolite 3-hydroxyisobutyrate (3-HIB), fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21), adiponectin, and nonesterified fatty acids (NEFAs) may be involved in amino acid-mediated insulin resistance. We therefore measured in 30 women the rate of glucose disposal, and plasma 3-HIB, FGF21, adiponectin, and NEFA concentrations, under basal conditions and during a hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp procedure (HECP), with and without concomitant ingestion of protein (n = 15) or an amount of leucine that matched the amount of protein (n = 15). We found that during the HECP without protein or leucine ingestion, the grand mean ± SEM plasma 3-HIB concentration decreased (from 35 ± 2 to 14 ± 1 µmol/L) and the grand median [quartiles] FGF21 concentration increased (from 178 [116, 217] to 509 [340, 648] pg/mL). Ingestion of protein, but not leucine, decreased insulin-stimulated glucose disposal (P < 0.05) and prevented both the HECP-mediated decrease in 3-HIB and increase in FGF21 concentration in plasma. Neither protein nor leucine ingestion altered plasma adiponectin or NEFA concentrations. These findings suggest that 3-HIB and FGF21 might be involved in protein-mediated insulin resistance in humans.
© 2017 by the American Diabetes Association.