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J Nutr. 2007 Sep;137(9):1999-2005.

Dietary oleic and palmitic acids modulate the ratio of triacylglycerols to cholesterol in postprandial triacylglycerol-rich lipoproteins in men and cell viability and cycling in human monocytes.

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  • 1Cellular and Molecular Nutrition, Instituto de la Grasa (CSIC), 41012 Seville, Spain.


The postprandial metabolism of dietary fats produces triacylglycerol (TG)-rich lipoproteins (TRL) that could interact with circulating cells. We investigated whether the ratios of oleic:palmitic acid and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA):SFA in the diet affect the ratio of TG:cholesterol (CHOL) in postprandial TRL of healthy men. The ability of postprandial TRL at 3 h (early postprandial period) and 5 h (late postprandial period) to affect cell viability and cycle in the THP-1 human monocytic cell line was also determined. In a randomized, crossover experiment, 14 healthy volunteers (Caucasian men) ate meals enriched (50 g/m(2) body surface area) in refined olive oil, high-palmitic sunflower oil, butter, and a mixture of vegetable and fish oils, which had ratios of oleic:palmitic acid (MUFA:SFA) of 6.83 (5.43), 2.36 (2.42), 0.82 (0.48), and 13.81 (7.08), respectively. The ratio of TG:CHOL in postprandial TRL was inversely correlated (r = -0.89 to -0.99) with the ratio of oleic:palmitic acid and with the MUFA:SFA ratio in the dietary fats (P < 0.05). Postprandial TRL at 3 h preferentially increased the proportion of necrotic cells, whereas postprandial TRL at 5 h increased the proportion of apoptotic cells (P < 0.05). Cell cycle analysis showed that postprandial TRL blocked the human monocytes in S-phase. Our findings suggest that the level of TG and CHOL into postprandial TRL is associated with the ratios of oleic:palmitic acid and MUFA:SFA in dietary fats, which determines the ability of postprandial TRL to induce cytotoxicity and disturb the cell cycle in THP-1 cells.

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