The impact of dietary fat composition on serum leptin concentrations in healthy nonobese men and women.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism, Volume 87, Issue 11, p.5008-14 (2002)


Adolescent, Adult, alpha-Linolenic Acid, Blood Glucose, Body Mass Index, Dietary Fats, Fatty Acids, Fatty Acids, Omega-6, Fatty Acids, Unsaturated, Female, Hemoglobin A, Glycosylated, Humans, Insulin, Leptin, Male, Plant Oils, Sex Characteristics


The recently discovered hormone leptin is primarily secreted by adipose tissue and serves as an internal signal indicating the size of body fat stores. The aim of the present study was to investigate the impact of the dietary fatty acid composition on serum leptin concentrations. Therefore, serum leptin levels were measured by RIA in healthy nonobese men (n = 30) and women (n = 25). First, all participants received a baseline high-fat diet, rich in saturated fat, for 2 wk and were then randomly assigned to one of three high-fat dietary treatments, which contained refined olive oil (rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, n = 19), rapeseed oil [rich in monounsaturated fatty acids and alpha-linolenic acid (18:3n-3), n = 17], or sunflower oil (rich in n-6-polyunsaturated fatty acids, n = 19) as the principal source of fat for 4 wk. On the rapeseed oil diet, serum leptin concentrations increased slightly in men [+0.25 ng/ml, T(9) = -2.778, P = 0.021], but decreased distinctly in women [-4.70 ng/ml, T(6) = 5.083, P = 0.002]. Both the olive oil and the sunflower oil diet did not affect serum leptin concentrations. Thus, it is proposed that serum leptin levels were affected by the high amount of alpha-linolenic acid in rapeseed oil. However, questions remain as to why this diet differently affected serum leptin in men and women.