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Diabetologia. 2006 Jul;49(7):1612-8. Epub 2006 Apr 26.

Postprandial lipaemia induces an acute decrease of insulin sensitivity in healthy men independently of plasma NEFA levels.

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Clinical Department of Internal Medicine, Medical University of Innsbruck, Anichstrasse 35, A-6020, Innsbruck, Austria.



Typical Western diets cause postprandial lipaemia for 18 h per day. We tested the hypothesis that postprandial lipaemia decreases insulin sensitivity.


Employing a randomised crossover design, we administered two types of virtually isocaloric meals to ten healthy volunteers on two separate occasions. The meals (Meals 1 and 2) were both designed to produce a rise in triglycerides, but only Meal 1 generated a rise in NEFA, too. Insulin sensitivity, as quantified by an IVGTT with minimal model analysis, was calculated postabsorptively at 08.00 h and postprandially at 13.00 h, i.e. 3 h after meal ingestion.


Triglycerides rose from 0.91+/-0.31 mmol/l postabsorptively to 2.08+/-0.70 mmol/l postprandially with Meal 1 (p=0.005) and from 0.92+/-0.41 to 1.71+/-0.79 mmol/l with Meal 2 (p=0.005). Neither the triglyceride levels at 13.00 h, nor the post-meal AUCs for triglycerides were statistically different between Meal 1 and Meal 2. NEFA rose from 0.44+/-0.17 mmol/l postabsorptively to 0.69+/-0.16 mmol/l postprandially with Meal 1 (p=0.005) and showed no significant change with Meal 2 (0.46+/-0.31 mmol/l postabsorptively vs 0.36+/-0.32 mmol/l postprandially, p=0.09). Both the NEFA level at 13.00 h and the post-meal AUC for NEFA were significantly higher after Meal 1 than Meal 2. Compared with the postabsorptive state, insulin sensitivity decreased postprandially after each of the two meals to a comparable degree (Meal 1: -53%, p=0.02; Meal 2: -45%, p=0.005).


Our study reveals a drop in insulin sensitivity during postprandial lipaemia and strongly suggests that decreased insulin sensitivity is brought about by elevated plasma levels of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins independently of plasma NEFA levels.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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