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J Nutr. 2011 May;141(5):816-21. doi: 10.3945/jn.110.136432. Epub 2011 Mar 23.

Exchanging saturated fatty acids for (n-6) polyunsaturated fatty acids in a mixed meal may decrease postprandial lipemia and markers of inflammation and endothelial activity in overweight men.

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  • 1NUTRIM School for Nutrition, Toxicology and Metabolism, Department of Human Biology, Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht 6200 MD, The Netherlands.


Postprandial lipemia, low-grade systemic inflammation, and endothelial activity are related to metabolic disorders. It is well known that dietary fatty acid composition modulates postprandial lipemia, but information on the other metabolic risk markers is limited. We therefore studied the acute effects of a meal rich in SFA compared with those of a meal rich in (n-6) PUFA on postprandial responses in overweight men who are at an increased risk to develop the metabolic syndrome and its comorbidities. In a crossover design, the effects of 50 g butter (rich in SFA) on lipemia and markers for inflammation and endothelial activity were compared with those of 50 g sunflower oil [rich in (n-6) PUFA] during an 8-h postprandial mixed meal tolerance test in 13 overweight men. Postprandial changes in serum TG were comparable between the meals (P = 0.38), except for a reduction in the incremental area under the curve (P = 0.046) in the late postprandial phase after (n-6) PUFA (125 ± 96 mmol⋅min⋅L(-1)) compared with SFA (148 ± 98 mmol⋅min⋅L(-1)). Compared with the SFA meal, the (n-6) PUFA meal decreased plasma IL-6 (P = 0.003), TNFα (P = 0.005), soluble TNF receptors I and II (sTNFr; P = 0.024 and P < 0.001, respectively), and soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (sVCAM-1; P = 0.030) concentrations. These results indicate that exchanging SFA from butterfat for (n-6) PUFA in a mixed meal may decrease postprandial lipemia and concentrations of IL-6, TNFα, sTNFr-I and -II, and sVCAM-1 in overweight men.

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