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Flaxseed oil influences incorporation of glucose transporters in erythrocyte membranes during experimental diabetes in rats
Insulin resistance is associated with cell membrane properties. Some studies have demonstrated relationships between fatty acid composition of cell membrane phospholipids and insulin action. This study aimed to influence the cell membrane structure by increasing its content in omega-3 fatty acids in order to decrease insulin resistance by regulation of glucose transporters. Forty male albino rats were used in this study and divided into four groups. Group I (control group): healthy rats received a vehicle; Group II (flaxseed oil group): healthy rats received 1.2 ml flaxseed oil/kg b.w./day orally; Group III (diabetic group): diabetic rats received a vehicle; Group IV (treated group): diabetic rats received 1.2 ml flaxseed oil/kg b.w./day orally. Fasting blood sugar and plasma insulin levels were determined. Erythrocyte membrane fatty acids were determined by HPLC, GLUT 1 and GLUT 4 by PCR.The results indicated that the percent of changes of GLUT1 and GLUT4 in treated group were 18.42 and 44.64% respectively from diabetic group; A negative correlation was observed between insulin resistance and amount of glucose transporters. In conclusion, flaxseed oil supplementation may play an important role in influencing the cell membrane structure and the incorporation of glucose transporters resulting in a reduction of insulin resistance during diabetes.