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Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Dec;80(6):1487-91.

Butter and walnuts, but not olive oil, elicit postprandial activation of nuclear transcription factor kappaB in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from healthy men.

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Lipids and Arteriosclerosis Unit, Hospital Universitario Reina Sofía, Córdoba, Spain.



Nuclear transcription factor kappaB (NF-kappaB) plays an important role in atherosclerosis by modulating gene expression. Postprandial lipemia has been correlated with an increase in NF-kappaB activation in vascular cells and it is associated with an increase in postprandial triacylglycerol-rich lipoproteins, which are involved in the development of atherosclerotic plaque.


The objective of this study was to determine the effect of the intakes of 3 different foods with different fat compositions on the postprandial activation of monocyte NF-kappaB.


Eight healthy men followed a 4-wk baseline diet and then consumed 3 fat-load meals consisting of 1 g fat/kg body wt (65% fat) according to a randomized crossover design. Each meal had a different fatty acid composition, and the consumption of each meal was separated by 1 wk. The compositions of the 3 test meals were as follows: olive oil meal [22% saturated fatty acids (SFAs), 38% monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), 4% polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), and 0.7% alpha-linolenic acid], butter meal (38% SFAs, 22% MUFAs, 4% PUFAs, and 0.7% alpha-linolenic acid), and walnut meal (20% SFAs, 24% MUFAs, 16% PUFAs, and 4% alpha-linolenic acid).


Ingestion of the olive oil meal did not elicit NF-kappaB activation compared with ingestion of either the butter meal at 3 h (P <0.05) or the walnut meal at 9 h (P <0.05). There was no significant difference in the postprandial triacylglycerol response between the 3 meals.


Consumption of an olive oil-enriched meal does not activate NF-kappaB in monocytes as do butter and walnut-enriched meals. This effect could enhance the cardioprotective effect of olive oil-enriched diets.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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