Open Access Original investigation

Dietary saturated fat/cholesterol, but not unsaturated fat or starch, induces C-reactive protein associated early atherosclerosis and ectopic fat deposition in diabetic pigs

Sietse J Koopmans12*, Ruud Dekker1, Mariette T Ackermans3, Hans P Sauerwein4, Mireille J Serlie4, Heleen MM van Beusekom5, Mieke van den Heuvel5 and Wim J van der Giessen56

Author Affiliations

1 BioMedical Research of Wageningen University and Research Center, Lelystad, The Netherlands

2 Department of Animal Sciences, Adaptation Physiology Group of Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands

3 Clinical Chemistry, Laboratory of Endocrinology, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

4 Endocrinology & Metabolism, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

5 Experimental Cardiology, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

6 ICIN-KNAW, Utrecht, The Netherlands

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Cardiovascular Diabetology 2011, 10:64  doi:10.1186/1475-2840-10-64

Published: 14 July 2011

Abstract

Background

Diabetes is thought to accelerate cardiovascular disease depending on the type of diet. This study in diabetic subjects was performed to investigate the metabolic, inflammatory and cardiovascular effects of nutritional components typically present in a Western, Mediterranean or high glycaemic diet.

Methods

Streptozotocin-diabetic pigs (~45 kg) were fed for 10 weeks supplemental (40% of dietary energy) saturated fat/cholesterol (SFC), unsaturated fat (UF) or starch (S) in an eucaloric dietary intervention study.

Results

Fasting plasma total, LDL and HDL cholesterol concentrations were 3-5 fold higher (p < 0.01) in SFC compared to UF and S pigs. Fasting plasma NEFA concentrations (mmol/L) were highest (p < 0.05) in SFC (1.09 ± 0.17), intermediate in UF (0.80 ± 0.14) and lowest in S pigs (0.58 ± 0.14) whereas plasma glucose (~13 mmol/L), triglyceride (~0.5 mmol/L) and insulin (~24 pmol/L) concentrations were comparable among SFC, UF and S pigs. The postprandial response area under the curves (AUC, 0-4 h) for glucose but not for insulin and triglyceride responses were intermediate in SFC (617 ± 144) and lowest (p < 0.05) in UF (378 ± 157) compared to S pigs (925 ± 139). Fasting hepatic glucose production, hepatic and peripheral insulin sensitivity and blood pressure were not different among pigs. C-reactive protein (CRP) concentrations (mg/L) were highest (p < 0.05) in SFC (25 ± 4), intermediate in S (21 ± 3) and lowest in UF pigs (14 ± 2). Liver weights, liver and muscle triglyceride concentrations, and the surface area of aorta fatty streaks were highest (p < 0.01) in SFC pigs. A positive correlation between postprandial plasma CRP and aorta fatty streaks was observed in SFC pigs (R2 = 0.95). Retroperitoneal fat depot weight (g) was intermediate in SFC (260 ± 72), lowest in S (135 ± 51) and highest (p < 0.05) in UF (571 ± 95) pigs.

Conclusion

Dietary saturated fat/cholesterol induces inflammation, atherosclerosis and ectopic fat deposition whereas an equally high dietary unsaturated fat load does not induce these abnormalities and shows beneficial effects on postprandial glycaemia in diabetic pigs.

Keywords:
Diabetes; Insulin; Diet; Unsaturated fat; Saturated fat; Cholesterol; Inflammation; C-reactive protein; Atherosclerosis; Pigs