Acetate is a short-chain fatty acid derived from colonic fermentation of carbohydrate and dietary fiber, and from endogenous glucose and fatty acid metabolism in the liver. An impaired acetate metabolism has been reported in diabetic subjects. The aim of the study was to evaluate plasma acetate levels in a group of obese diabetic subjects, compared with obese normoglycemic subjects and normal control subjects. Eleven noninsulin-dependent diabetic patients taking oral antidiabetic drugs, eight obese normoglycemic subjects, and seven control subjects were studied. Liver, kidney, and gut functions were normal in all subjects. Blood acetate, glucose, insulin, and C-peptide were evaluated in all subjects. Acetate levels were significantly higher in the diabetic subjects than in obese normoglycemic and normal subjects. Significant correlations between HbA1c, glucose, and acetate levels, but not between acetate and C-peptide or insulin, were also observed.
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