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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Synergistic effects of conjugated linoleic acid and chromium picolinate improve vascular function and renal pathophysiology in the insulin-resistant JCR:LA-cp rat.

  • Author(s): Proctor, SD
  • Kelly, SE
  • Stanhope, KL
  • Havel, PJ
  • Russell, JC
  • et al.

AIMS: Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a natural constituent of dairy products, specific isomers of which have recently been found to have insulin sensitizing and possible antiobesity actions. Chromium is a micronutrient which, as the picolinate (CrP), has been shown to increase insulin sensitivity in animal models, including the JCR:LA-cp rat. We tested the hypothesis that these agents may have beneficial synergistic effects on the micro- and macrovasculopathy associated with hyperinsulinaemia and early type 2 diabetes. METHODS: Insulin-resistant cp/cp rats of the JCR:LA-cp strain were treated with mixed isomers of CLA (1.5% w/w in the chow) and/or CrP at 80 microg/kg/day (expressed as Cr) from 4 weeks of age to 12 weeks of age. Plasma insulin, lipid and adiponectin levels, aortic vascular function, renal function and glomerular sclerosis were assessed. RESULTS: CLA administration reduced food intake, body weight and fasting insulin in JCR:LA-cp rats. Plasma adiponectin levels were significantly elevated in rats treated with both CLA and CrP. Aortic hypercontractility was reduced and the relaxant response to the nitric oxide-releasing agent acetylcholine (Ach) was increased in CrP-treated rats. Striking reductions were also observed in the level of urinary albumin and the severity of glomerular sclerosis in rats treated specifically with CLA. CONCLUSIONS: CLA and CrP have beneficial effects ameliorating several of the pathophysiologic features of an insulin-resistant rat model. These supplements may be useful adjuncts in the management of patients with the metabolic syndrome and warrant further study.

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