Metabolic factors in the insulin resistance in human obesity

Metabolism. 1987 Mar;36(3):256-61. doi: 10.1016/0026-0495(87)90185-5.


Insulin resistance is frequently observed in obese subjects. The present work was initiated to study its relationship with the increased lipid metabolism generally observed in obesity. A first group of five obese subjects (146 +/- 10% of their ideal body weight [IBW] with normal glucose tolerance was submitted to a 75-g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) as a control and during an intralipid infusion (20% fat emulsion, 1 mL/min, started 90 minutes prior to the glucose load). Lipid and glucose oxidation were measured by continuous indirect calorimetry. The significant rise over control conditions in both plasma FFA and lipid oxidation rate during the lipid infusion was accompanied by a marked decrease in glucose tolerance (two hours venous plasma glucose: 151 +/- 12 during intralipid infusion v 110 +/- 3 mg/dL, P less than .01) together with a rise of the plasma insulin curve. Glucose oxidation was significantly decreased. A second group of five obese subjects (146 +/- 7% of their IBW) with impaired glucose tolerance was submitted to a similar OGTT, as a control, and during an infusion of beta-pyridyl-carbinol, a nicotinic acid derivative, to lower FFA. Both plasma FFA and lipid oxidation rates were decreased already prior to the OGTT. The previously impaired glucose tolerance was normalized (two hours venous plasma glucose: 129 +/- 13 during the beta-pyridyl-carbinol infusion v 172 +/- 7 mg/dL, P less than .01), and the insulin curve lowered. Glucose oxidation was increased during the early phase of the OGTT.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Fat Emulsions, Intravenous
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified / blood
  • Female
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nicotinyl Alcohol
  • Obesity / blood
  • Obesity / metabolism*
  • Oxidation-Reduction


  • Blood Glucose
  • Fat Emulsions, Intravenous
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified
  • Insulin
  • Nicotinyl Alcohol