Dissociation between insulin resistance and abnormalities in lipoprotein particle concentrations and sizes in normal-weight Chinese adults

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  • Kaare Tranæs
  • Cherlyn Ding
  • Yu Chung Chooi
  • Zhiling Chan
  • John Choo
  • Melvin K-S Leow
  • Magkos, Faidon

Insulin resistance in obesity coincides with abnormalities in lipid profile and lipoprotein subclass distribution and size even before abnormalities in glucose homeostasis manifest. We aimed to assess this relationship in the absence of obesity. Insulin sensitivity (3-h intravenous glucose tolerance test and minimal modeling) and lipoprotein particle concentrations and sizes (proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy) were evaluated in 15 insulin-resistant and 15 insulin-sensitive lean Asians of Chinese descent with normal glucose tolerance, matched on age, sex, and body mass index. Despite a ~50% lower insulin sensitivity index (Si) in insulin-resistant than in insulin-sensitive subjects, which was accompanied by significantly greater acute insulin response to glucose (AIRg) and fasting insulin concentration but not different fasting glucose concentration, there were no significant differences between groups in the blood lipid profile (p ≥ 0.44) or the lipoprotein subclass concentrations (p ≥ 0.30) and particle sizes (p ≥ 0.43). We conclude that, contrary to observations in subjects with obesity, insulin resistance is not accompanied by unfavorable changes in the plasma lipid profile and lipoprotein particle concentrations and sizes in lean Asians with normal glucose tolerance. Therefore, insulin resistance at the level of glucose metabolism is mechanistically or temporally dissociated from lipid and lipoprotein metabolism. 

Trial Registration: clinicaltrials.gov, NCT03264001.

Original languageEnglish
Article number651199
JournalFrontiers in Nutrition
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2021 Tranæs, Ding, Chooi, Chan, Choo, Leow and Magkos.

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Science - Insulin resistance, Lipoprotein particle size, Obesity phenotypes, Metabolically-unhealthy lean, Nuclear magnetic resonance

ID: 258659611