There is a body of evidence linking inflammation, altered lipid metabolism, and insulin resistance. Our previous research found that insulin sensitivity decreased after a four-week diet high in dairy compared to a control diet and to one high in red meat. Our aim was to determine whether a relationship exists between changes in insulin sensitivity and inflammatory biomarkers, or with lipid species. Fasting Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha (TNF-α), Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor II (sTNF-RII), C-reactive protein (CRP), and lipids were measured at the end of each diet. TNF-α and the ratio TNF-α/sTNF-RII were not different between diets and TNF-α, sTNF-RII, or the ratio TNF-α/sTNF-RII showed no association with homeostasis model assessment-estimated insulin resistance (HOMA-IR). A number of phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) and phosphatidylinositol (PI) species differed between dairy and red meat and dairy and control diets, as did many phosphatidylcholine (PC) species and cholesteryl ester (CE) 14:0, CE15:0, lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC) 14:0, and LPC15:0. None had a significant relationship (p
= 0.001 or better) with log homeostasis model assessment-estimated insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), although LPC14:0 had the strongest relationship (p
= 0.004) and may be the main mediator of the effect of dairy on insulin sensitivity. LPC14:0 and the whole LPC class were correlated with CRP. The correlations between dietary change and the minor plasma phospholipids PI32:1 and PE32:1 are novel and may reflect significant changes in membrane composition. Inflammatory markers were not altered by changes in protein source while the correlation of LPC with CRP confirms a relationship between changes in lipid profile and inflammation.
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