Project leader: Professor Paul Nestel
One study recently completed by this group was investigating inflammatory, lipid and atherogenic biomarkers in insulin resistant states. This clinical study in 86 subjects in whom insulin sensitivity or resistance was demonstrated has shown correlations with several such biomarkers. Lipidomic analysis has shown strong inverse associations between insulin resistance on the one hand and the number of lipids on the other, including lysoPAF. LysoPAF opposes the activity of PAF, a pro-atherogenic molecule. Because each of these molecules was found to associate positively with dairy consumption further studies measured plasma phospholipid fatty acids specific for dairy foods; inverse associations were also shown between insulin resistance and C17:0 and other dairy specific fatty acids. The possible protective effect of dairy foods was confined to fermented dairy since non-fermented dairy (e.g. butter and cream) correlated with higher IL-6 and sphingomyelin levels, molecules linked to atherosclerosis (in association with Peter Meikle and Nora Straznicky).
Another biomarker study of plasmas of nearly 9000 patients who completed a statin trial (LIPID) have been analysed. It has been found that those patients in whom plasma Lp(a) concentrations rose following randomisation experienced significantly more total cardiovascular and coronary events over the subsequent years of the trial.