Open Access

A high-MUFA diet alone does not affect ketone body metabolism, but reduces glycated hemoglobin when combined with exercise training in diabetic rats



Monounsaturated fat (MUFA) also has glucose-lowering action, but its effect on ketone bodies is unknown.


To examine the effects of high-MUFA diet alone or in combination with exercise training, which can improve glucose and ketone body metabolism, in a rat model of diabetes.


Wistar rats were administered streptozotocin to induce diabetes and then randomly divided into five groups: sedentary rats fed a regular diet (1), a high-saturated-fat diet (2), a high-MUFA diet (3); and exercisetrained rats fed a regular diet (4), and a high-MUFA diet (5). Training was by a treadmill twice daily, 5 days/week. At 12 weeks, glucose, glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), insulin, nonesterified fatty acids (NEFA), and β-hydroxybutyrate levels were measured in cardiac blood. Activity of the overall ketone synthesis pathway was determined in liver and 3-ketoacyl-CoA transferase activity determined in gastrocnemius muscle.


A high-MUFA diet tended to lower plasma glucose without affecting other biochemical variables. Training did not change glucose metabolism, but significantly reduced serum NEFA. Only the high-MUFA diet plus training significantly decreased HbA1c levels. Hepatic ketone synthesis was decreased and 3-ketoacyl-CoA transferase activity was increased by training alone or in combination with a high-MUFA diet. Changes in NEFA, β-hydroxybutyrate, and the enzymatic activities in response to training plus a high-MUFA diet were comparable to those caused by training alone.


A high-MUFA diet alone does not alter ketone body metabolism. Combination of a MUFA-rich diet and exercise training is more effective than either MUFA or exercise alone for lowering HbA1c.

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