Amelioration of insulin resistance and hypertension in a fructose-fed rat model with fish oil supplementation

Metabolism. 1997 Nov;46(11):1252-8. doi: 10.1016/s0026-0495(97)90226-2.


In type II diabetic patients, one can detect several pathologic changes including insulin resistance and hypertension. Sprague-Dawley rats fed a fructose-rich diet (group F) exhibited these characteristic abnormalities within 2 weeks and were an excellent laboratory animal model for research on insulin action and development of hypertension. Since fish oils containing omega-3 fatty acids have a beneficial effect in preventing atherosclerotic diseases, we performed repeated experiments to test the effects of fish oil supplementation in group F rats. Compared with control rats on a normal diet (group C), group F consistently developed hypertriglyceridemia without elevated plasma free fatty acid (FFA), fasting hyperinsulinemia together with fasting hyperglycemia (insulin resistance syndrome), and systolic hypertension within 3 weeks. Insulin-stimulated glucose uptake and insulin binding of adipocytes were significantly reduced. Rats fed the same high-fructose diet but supplemented with fish oil (group O) had alleviation of all of these metabolic defects and a normalized insulin sensitivity and blood pressure. beta-Cell function as shown by plasma glucose and insulin responses to oral glucose remained intact in group F and group O. The plasma endothelin-1 (ET-1) level and ET-1 binding to adipocytes were not different among the three groups. Based on these results, we suggest that dietary high fructose induced hypertriglyceridemia and insulin resistance with normal islet function, and that the induced hypertension was not associated with plasma ET-1 abnormalities and was probably caused by other undefined pathologic changes that can be prevented by dietary omega-3 fatty acids.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipocytes / drug effects
  • Adipocytes / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Binding, Competitive
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Blood Pressure
  • Body Weight
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / physiopathology*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Endothelin-1 / analysis
  • Endothelin-1 / metabolism
  • Fish Oils / administration & dosage*
  • Fructose / administration & dosage
  • Fructose / adverse effects
  • Hypertension / etiology
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Hypertension / prevention & control*
  • Insulin / analysis
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Insulin / pharmacology
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology*
  • Iodine Radioisotopes
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Time Factors


  • Blood Glucose
  • Endothelin-1
  • Fish Oils
  • Insulin
  • Iodine Radioisotopes
  • Fructose