Metabolic actions of insulin in men and women

Faidon Magkos, Xuewen Wang, Bettina Mittendorfer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


Insulin is an important regulator of glucose, lipid, and protein metabolism. It suppresses hepatic glucose and triglyceride production, inhibits adipose tissue lipolysis and whole-body and muscle proteolysis, and stimulates glucose uptake in muscle. In this review we discuss what is currently known about the control of substrate metabolism by insulin in men and women. The data available so far indicate that women are more sensitive to insulin with regards to glucose metabolism (both in the liver and in muscle), whereas there are no differences between men and women in insulin action on lipolysis. Potential differences exist in the regulation of plasma triglyceride concentration and protein metabolism by insulin and in changes in insulin action in response to stimuli (e.g., weight loss and exercise) that are known to alter insulin sensitivity. However, these areas have not been studied comprehensively enough to draw firm conclusions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)686-693
Number of pages8
Issue number7-8
StatePublished - Jul 2010


  • Glucose uptake
  • Hepatic glucose production
  • Lipolysis
  • Proteolysis
  • Triglyceride clearance
  • Triglyceride secretion


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