Stimulation of Insulin Secretion by Long-Chain Free Fatty Acids ~ A Direct Pancreatic Effect

Stimulation of Insulin Secretion by Long-Chain Free Fatty Acids, A Direct Pancreatic Effect

These studies indicate that long-chain FFA, in physiological concentrations, can markedly stimulate insulin secretion by a direct effect on the pancreas. The results lend support to the concept of insulin as a hormone that is importantly involved in regulating the metabolism of all three principal classes of metabolic substrates and whose release is in turn regulated by all of them.
So why almost no insulin response to just a fat meal?  Because most of the ingested fats are transported as triglycerides in chylomicrons.  But NEFA release from adipose tissue with fat ingestion may be responsible for the slight response seen early on.   This may well be the mechanism for elevated basal insulin in the obese.  It's our body's attempt to keep circulating NEFA levels in check.

This would be consistent with a direction of causality that fat accumulation (due to chronic positive energy balance) --> elevated NEFA --> contributes to baseline hyperinsulinemia.


Anonymous said…
wow... so how do you know if you have elevated NEFA/FFA?? and how do you determine if you glucose intolerant or insulin sensitive?
CarbSane said…
I think you could have them measured as part of a lipid panel. I've been very lazy getting around to getting mine done.

Glucose tolerance is easy to measure. I got a BG meter and strips off ebay. Or you can buy them in the store, just expect to pay more for the strips. Eat a carby meal and see how much your BG spikes and how long it takes to return to normal. I've done this and I'm fairly confident that at this time, my carb metabolism is pretty normal.

Back the last time I did low carb, perhaps it wasn't. Perhaps my higher protein and interspersed cheats this time kept the NEFA at bay? Who knows.

I wish I could find it. I once found a review that questioned why NEFA were not currently part of routine screenings, and suggesting reasons why they should be. Maybe I'll get a chance to scan my computer for the right key word to unearth it ;)