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J Nutr. 2008 Oct;138(10):1910-4.

Impaired postprandial endothelial function depends on the type of fat consumed by healthy men.

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  • 1Nutritional Sciences Division, King's College London, London SE1 9NH, United Kingdom.


Postprandial lipemia impairs endothelial function possibly via an oxidative stress mechanism. A stearic acid-rich triacylglycerol (TAG) (shea butter) results in a blunted postprandial increase in plasma TAG compared with an oleic acid-rich TAG; however, its acute effects on endothelial function and oxidative stress are unknown. A randomized crossover trial (n = 17 men) compared the effects of 50 g fat, rich in stearic acid [shea butter blend (SA)] or oleic acid [high oleic sunflower oil (HO)], on changes in endothelial function [brachial artery flow-mediated dilatation (FMD)], arterial tone [pulse wave analysis (PWA), and carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (PWV(c-f))], and oxidative stress (plasma 8-isoprostane F2alpha) at fasting and 3 h following the test meals. The postprandial increase in plasma TAG was lower (66% lower incremental area under curve) following the SA meal [28.3 (9.7, 46.9)] than after the HO meal [83.4 (57.0, 109.8); P < 0.001] (geometric means with 95% CI, arbitary units). Following the HO meal, there was a decrease in FMD [-3.0% (-4.4, -1.6); P < 0.001] and an increase in plasma 8-isoprostane F2alpha [10.4ng/L (3.8, 16.9); P = 0.005] compared with fasting values, but no changes followed the SA meal. The changes in 8-isoprostane F2alpha and FMD differed between meals and were 14.0 ng/L (6.4, 21.6; P = 0.001) and 1.75% (0.10, 3.39; P = 0.02), respectively. The reductions in PWA and PWV c-f did not differ between meals. This study demonstrates that a stearic acid-rich fat attenuates the postprandial impairment in endothelial function compared with an oleic acid-rich fat and supports the hypothesis that postprandial lipemia impairs endothelial function via an increase in oxidative stress.

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