In order to examine the factors governing the timing and flexibility of skeletal muscle switching between fat and carbohydrate oxidation, Ukropcova et al. studied the effect of glucose and fatty acid availability on the preference for fat oxidation in myocytes cultured from human male quadriceps muscle taken from subjects with varied BMI, fat mass, and insulin sensitivity. The authors found that in vivo insulin sensitivity was related to a higher in vitro capacity for fat oxidation. These findings support the concept that the capacity of skeletal muscle to oxidize fat under appropriate physiological conditions is related to leanness, aerobic fitness, and insulin sensitivity.
David E. Kelley