Serum pentadecanoic acid (15:0), a short-term marker of dairy food intake, is inversely associated with incident type 2 diabetes and its underlying disorders

Ingrid D. Santaren, Steven M. Watkins, Angela D. Liese, Lynne E. Wagenknecht, Marian J. Rewers, Steven M. Haffner, Carlos Lorenzo, Anthony J. Hanley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations


Background: Growing evidence suggests that dairy consumption is associated with lower type 2 diabetes risk. However, observational studies have reported inconsistent results, and few have examined dairy's association with the underlying disorders of insulin resistance and b-cell dysfunction.

Objective: We investigated the association of the dairy fatty acid biomarkers pentadecanoic acid (15:0) and trans-palmitoleic acid (trans 16:1n27) with type 2 diabetes traits by evaluating 1) prospective associations with incident diabetes after 5 y of follow-up and 2) cross-sectional associations with directly measured insulin resistance and b-cell dysfunction.

Conclusions: Serum 15:0, a marker of short-term intake of this fatty acid, was inversely associated with diabetes risk in this multiethnic cohort. This study may contribute to future recommendations regarding the benefits of dairy products on type 2 diabetes risk.

Design: The study analyzed 659 adults without diabetes at baseline from the triethnic multicenter Insulin Resistance Atherosclerosis Study (IRAS). Diabetes status was assessed by using oral-glucosetolerance tests. Frequently sampled intravenous-glucose-tolerance tests measured insulin sensitivity (SI) and b-cell function [disposition index (DI)]. Serum fatty zcids were quantified by using gas chromatography. Logistic and linear regression models were adjusted for demographic, lifestyle, and dietary variables.

Results: Serum 15:0 was a significant biomarker for total dairy intake in the IRAS cohort. It was associated with a decreased incident diabetes risk (OR: 0.73, P = 0.02) and was positively associated with log SI (b: 0.84, P = 0.03) and log DI (b: 2.21, P = 0.02) in fully adjusted models. trans 16:1n27 was a marker of total partially hydrogenated dietary fat intake and was not associated with outcomes in fully adjusted models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1532-1540
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014


  • Dairy
  • Epidemiology
  • Fatty acids
  • Nutrition
  • Type 2 diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Serum pentadecanoic acid (15:0), a short-term marker of dairy food intake, is inversely associated with incident type 2 diabetes and its underlying disorders'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this