Posted on Jan 10, 2011, 6 a.m.
Circulating levels of trans-palmitoleic acid, the fatty acid found in dairy products, may reduce the risks of type-2 diabetes.
Trans-palmitoleic acid is a naturally occurring fatty acid in dairy fats, and on a biological basis it may mimic its counterpart, cis-palmitoleic acid, a fatty acid that is produced in the body that protects against diabetes. Dariush Mozaffarian, from Harvard School of Public Health (Massachusetts, USA), and colleagues examined data from a study that followed 3, 3736 adults enrolled in the Cardiovascular Health Study. The researchers found that those adults with the highest circulating levels of trans-palmitoleic acid had the lowest risk of type-2 diabetes. Specifically, those subjects with the highest trans-palmitoleic acid levels were found to be at 60% lower risk of developing diabetes, as compared to the subjects at the bottom 20%. Writing that: “Circulating trans-palmitoleate is associated with lower insulin resistance, presence of atherogenic dyslipidemia, and incident diabetes,” the team submits that: “Our findings may explain previously observed metabolic benefits of dairy consumption.”
Dariush Mozaffarian, Haiming Cao, Irena B. King, Rozenn N. Lemaitre, Xiaoling Song, David S. Siscovick, Gokhan S. Hotamisligil. “Trans-Palmitoleic Acid, Metabolic Risk Factors, and New-Onset Diabetes in U.S. Adults: A Cohort Study.” Ann Intern Med, December 21, 2010, 153:790-799.