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Diabetes. 2005 Sep;54(9):2668-73.

Spillover of dietary fatty acids and use of serum nonesterified fatty acids for the synthesis of VLDL-triacylglycerol under two different feeding regimens.

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  • 1Department of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Minnesota, 1334 Eckles Ave., St. Paul, MN 55108, USA.


The present study quantified dietary fatty acid flux in healthy men (n = 6) who were fed a liquid formula through a duodenal feeding tube (continuous feeding group) or who consumed the same formula in meals (meal feeding group). A triacylglycerol (TAG) stable isotope was added to the formula to determine the entry of dietary fatty acids into the serum and its clearance to the liver and resecretion into serum via VLDL. The contribution of dietary fatty acids to serum nonesterified fatty acids (NEFAs) was higher with meal feeding (24.4 +/- 2.6%) compared with continuous feeding (10.8 +/- 2.9%, P < 0.01) and, when multiplied by the NEFA concentration, resulted in similar absolute fatty acid spillover. Diet-derived NEFAs subsequently represented 10.6 +/- 1.2% and 4.7 +/- 1.3% of hepatic VLDL-TAG (meal feeding vs. continuous feeding, respectively, P = 0.004). Chylomicron remnant uptake by the liver contributed 9.3 +/- 1.9% of fatty acids to hepatic VLDL-TAG synthesis with meal feeding compared with continuous feeding (4.4 +/- 0.8%, P < 0.03). These data suggest that the extent of dietary fatty acid recycling via serum NEFAs and VLDL-TAG is determined by the rate of delivery of dietary fat to the intestine. The inefficient removal of dietary fat from the circulation may maintain VLDL-TAG production but may also result in prolonged postprandial lipemia.

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