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Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (CCLM)

Published in Association with the European Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (EFLM)

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Acute Exogenous Elevation of Plasma Free Fatty Acids Does Not Influence the Plasma Magnesium Concentration

Harold W. de Valk / Rutgert Bianchi / Herman J.M. van Rijn / D. Willem Erkelens

Citation Information: Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine. Volume 36, Issue 2, Pages 115–117, ISSN (Print) 1434-6621, DOI: 10.1515/CCLM.1998.022, June 2005

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Objective: Plasma non-esterified (free) fatty acid concentrations rise as a consequence of stimulated endogenous lipolysis and are inversely related to the plasma magnesium concentration when plasma adrenaline concentration is increased. The aim of the study was to test whether high plasma non-esterified fatty acid concentration after infusion of non-esterified fatty acids decreases plasma magnesium concentration.

Methods: Twelve healthy subjects received 500 ml Intralipid or saline in a randomised, cross-over, double-blind design. Infusion of Intralipid results in an isolated elevation of plasma non-esterified fatty acid concentration. Plasma magnesium concentration was determined at baseline and every 30 minutes; plasma nonesterified fatty acid and triglyceride concentrations at baseline and after 120 minutes.

Results: Initial plasma magnesium, non-esterified fatty acid, and triglyceride concentrations were similar in both groups. A significant increase in plasma non-esterified fatty acids (2.42 ± 0.96 mmol/l vs 0.58 ± 0.23 mmol/l, p = 0.00013) and triglyceride (median and 95th percentile 5.36 (7.35) mmol/l vs 1.18 (1.92) mmol/l, p = 0.003) concentrations was seen with Intralipid. Plasma magnesium concentration increased significantly after Intralipid (0.89 ± 0.09 mmol/l vs 0.81 ± 0.06 mmol/l, p = 0.007). No significant changes were seen with saline. A positive association was found between the change in plasma magnesium and triglyceride concentrations (r = 0.85, p = 0.001).

Conclusion: Acute infusion of non-esterified fatty acids from an exogenous source does not result in a fall in plasma magnesium concentration, indicating that the circulating non-esterified fatty acids play no part in a decrease in plasma magnesium concentration. The high circulating non-esterified fatty acid levels and the fall in plasma magnesium concentration are both a consequence of intracellular lipolysis.

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