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Volume 2012, Article ID 424780, 15 pages
Review Article

Nutritional Modulation of Insulin Resistance

1Warwickshire Institute for the Study of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, Coventry CV2 2DX, UK
2Division of Metabolic and Vascular Health, Warwick Medical School, The University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK

Received 13 August 2012; Accepted 2 September 2012

Academic Editors: R. Laybutt and S. Samman

Copyright © 2012 Martin O. Weickert. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Insulin resistance has been proposed as the strongest single predictor for the development of Type 2 Diabetes (T2DM). Chronic oversupply of energy from food, together with inadequate physical activity, have been recognized as the most relevant factors leading to overweight, abdominal adiposity, insulin resistance, and finally T2DM. Conversely, energy reduced diets almost invariably to facilitate weight loss and reduce abdominal fat mass and insulin resistance. However, sustained weight loss is generally difficult to achieve, and distinct metabolic characteristics in patients with T2DM further compromise success. Therefore, investigating the effects of modulating the macronutrient composition of isoenergetic diets is an interesting concept that may lead to additional important insights. Metabolic effects of various different dietary concepts and strategies have been claimed, but results from randomized controlled studies and particularly from longer-term-controlled interventions in humans are often lacking. However, some of these concepts are supported by recent research, at least in animal models and short-term studies in humans. This paper provides an update of the current literature regarding the role of nutrition in the modulation of insulin resistance, which includes the discussion of weight-loss-independent metabolic effects of commonly used dietary concepts.