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J Nutr. 2012 May;142(5):931-5. doi: 10.3945/jn.111.155960. Epub 2012 Mar 21.

Nutritional repletion of children with severe acute malnutrition does not affect VLDL apolipoprotein B-100 synthesis rate.

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  • 1University of the West Indies, Tropical Metabolism Research Unit, Mona, Kingston, Jamaica.


VLDL apo B-100 is essential for the secretion of liver fat. It is thought that synthesis of this lipoprotein is impaired in childhood severe acute malnutrition (SAM), especially in the edematous syndromes, and that this contributes to the common occurrence of hepatic steatosis in this condition. However, to our knowledge, it has not been confirmed that VLDL apo B-100 synthesis is slower in edematous compared with nonedematous SAM and that it is impaired in the malnourished compared with the well-nourished state. Therefore, VLDL apo B-100 kinetics were measured in 2 groups of children with SAM (15 edematous and 7 nonedematous), aged 4-20 mo, at 3 stages during treatment. Measurements were done at 4 ± 1 d postadmission, mid- catch-up growth in weight, and at recovery (normal weight-for-length). VLDL apo B-100 synthesis was determined using stable isotope methodology to measure the rate of incorporation of (2)H(3)-leucine into its apoprotein moiety. The fractional and absolute synthesis of VLDL apo B-100 did not differ between the groups or from the initial malnourished stage to the recovery stage. Concentrations of VLDL apo B-100 were greater in the edematous than in the nonedematous group (P < 0.04) and did not differ from the initial stage to recovery. The data indicate that VLDL apo B-100 synthesis is not reduced when children develop either edematous or nonedematous SAM.

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