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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1990 Oct;71(4):1041-50.

Postprandial lipoprotein metabolism in normal and obese subjects: comparison after the vitamin A fat-loading test.

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Department of Medicine, University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine, Illinois 60637.


Abnormalities in fasting lipid and lipoprotein levels are known to occur in obesity and other hyperinsulinemic states. However, postprandial lipoprotein metabolism has not been studied systematically in obese subjects using sensitive techniques to distinguish between triglyceride-rich lipoprotein particles derived from the intestine and the liver. In the present study the vitamin A fat-loading test was used to label intestinally derived triglyceride-rich lipoprotein particles in the postprandial state. Lipid parameters in seven normolipidemic obese subjects [body mass index, 43.7 +/- 2.81 kg/m2 (mean +/- SEM)] were compared to those in eight matched normal weight controls (body mass index, 23.6 +/- 0.72 kg/m2) during the 24-h period following ingestion of a mixed meal with a high fat content to which vitamin A had been added. Although subjects were selected for normal fasting lipid levels, in the obese group fasting triglycerides were significantly higher (1.35 +/- 0.12 vs. 0.68 +/- 0.08 mmol/L; P less than 0.0005) and high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol was lower (0.94 +/- 0.08 vs. 1.35 +/- 0.11 mmol/L; P less than 0.01). The obese subjects had a greater postprandial triglyceride response to the test meal (P less than 0.05). The cumulative increment in total plasma triglycerides was 3.35-fold greater in obese than control subjects, while that of retinyl ester was only 1.63-fold greater, suggesting that a significant portion of the postprandial triglyceride response is due to endogenous hepatic lipoproteins. Postprandial plasma triglyceride and retinyl ester increment correlated with basal triglycerides (r = 0.72; P less than 0.005 and r = 0.57; P less than 0.03, respectively) and negatively with fasting HDL (r = -0.51; P less than 0.05 and r = -0.60; P less than 0.02, respectively). In the obese, the HDL triglyceride content increased maximally 4 h postprandially (4.1% to 6.1%; P less than 0.005) and phospholipid at 12 h (25.8% to 28.7%; P less than 0.05), with lower cholesteryl ester (21.1% to 17.5%; P less than 0.002) at 8 h, reflecting exchange of surface and core lipids with triglyceride-rich particles after the meal. In obese and control subjects the magnitude of HDL triglyceride enrichment after the meal correlated positively with the postprandial triglyceride increment (r = 0.74; P less than 0.007) and negatively with the fasting HDL cholesterol concentration (r = -0.80; P = 0.002). We conclude that even normolipidemic obese subjects have greater postprandial lipemia and triglyceride enrichment of HDL after ingestion of a high fat meal.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS).

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