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Am J Clin Nutr. 1997 Apr;65(4):934-40.

Circadian variation of postprandial lipemia.

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  • 1Service de Nutrition, CHR et U de Lille, France.


The goal of the present study was to assess the influence of mealtime on postprandial lipemia. Thirteen healthy subject aged 19-32 y were given the same meal at night (0100) or during the day (1300) in random order: the meal contained 40% of estimated daily energy expenditure. Blood samples were drawn at baseline and hourly for 8 h after the meal. Serum total cholesterol, very-low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol (VLDL-C), low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), high-density-lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), triacylglycerols, VLDL-triacylglycerols, apolipoprotein (apo) A-I, and apo B were measured at each time point. In a subgroup of seven subjects a control fasting reference line was measured according to the same nocturnal and diurnal time schedule. The mean postprandial concentrations of triacylglycerol (P < 0.001), VLDL-triacylglycerol (P < 0.001), and VLDL-C (P < 0.001) were higher at night than during the day. In contrast, mean cholesterol (P < 0.01), LDL-C (P < 0.01), HDL-C (P < 0.001), apo A-I (P < 0.001), and apo B (P < 0.001) concentrations were lower after the night meal than after the day meal. The magnitude of the postprandial response was estimated by the area between the fasting and postprandial curves. The triacylglycerol and VLDL-triacylglycerol responses were not significantly different between night and day. The VLDL-C (P < 0.01) response was greater and LDL-C (P < 0.0001) and HDL-C (P < 0.01) responses were lower at night than during the day. These results indicate that circadian factors specifically affect serum cholesterol transport. Apo B (P < 0.01) and apo A-I (P < 0.01) responses followed LDL-C and HDL-C changes during the day but were dissociated from lipoprotein responses at night, suggesting that circadian apolipoprotein regulation is dissociated from that of serum lipids. The results of the present study indicate that postprandial lipid, lipoprotein, and apolipoprotein concentrations are affected by circadian factors.

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