The composition of plasma non-esterified fatty acids was investigated during glucose tolerance tests to determine changes in individual fatty acid concentrations after glucose administration and to determine whether differences existed between the individual fatty acid concentrations of maturity-onset diabetic and non-diabetic men. The mean fasting total non-esterified fatty acid concentration of the 9 diabetics was greater than that of the 12 non-diabetics studied. After glucose ingestion, the mean total non-esterified fatty acid concentrations of both groups decreased. Gas chromatographic analysis of the plasma non-esterified fatty acids of 6 diabetic and 6 non-diabetic men revealed that the concentrations of palmitic, stearic and oleic acids were significantly higher in the diabetic men in the fasting state. With the sole exception of stearic acid in the non-diabetic patients, the mean concentration of each of the 6 plasma non-esterified fatty acids determined decreased in both groups after glucose ingestion. At 1, 2 and 3 hr after glucose ingestion, there were no longer any significant differences between the mean concentrations of individual plasma non-esterified fatty acids of the non-diabetic and diabetic men.
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