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Eur J Nutr. 2013 Apr;52(3):1107-14. doi: 10.1007/s00394-012-0420-7. Epub 2012 Jul 19.

Antioxidant and inflammatory response following high-fat meal consumption in overweight subjects.

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Functional Food and Metabolic Stress Prevention Program, National Institute for Food and Nutrition Research (INRAN), Via Ardeatina 546, 00178, Rome, Italy.



Postprandial metabolic stress as a consequence of ingestion of high-energy meals is recognized as an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The objective of this study was to evaluate the inflammatory and antioxidant response of the body to the acute ingestion of a high-fat meal (HFM).


Fifteen healthy overweight subjects were recruited for the study. After HFM consumption, plasma glucose, insulin, uric acid (UA), triglycerides (TG), total cholesterol (TC), thiols (SH), inflammatory cytokines (IL-6 and TNF-α) and dietary antioxidants were measured at 0, 0, 5, 1, 2, 4, 6 and 8 h points from ingestion.


The ingestion of HFM induced significant increases in both TG and TC, with peaks at 4 h (p < 0.001) and 8 h (p < 0.01), respectively. IL-6 and TNF-α significantly increased postprandially, reaching maximum concentrations 8 h after meal consumption (p < 0.001). Whereas plasma concentrations of vitamins and carotenoids were not changed by HFM, SH and UA increased, peaking 2-4 h postingestion (p < 0.001 and 0.01, respectively). Increments of SH and UA were positively correlated with AUC for TG (Pearson coefficient 0.888, p < 0.001 and 0.923, p < 0.001, respectively).


Present results indicate that as a consequence of an excess of dietary fat, the body responds through an inflammatory reaction, which is accompanied by an increment of endogenous antioxidant defenses, mediated by UA and SH, but not by vitamins C and E and carotenoids. Although further studies are needed, results of the current investigation represent novel findings on endogenous strategies of redox defense from fat overloads.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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