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Atherosclerosis. 1998 Jul;139(1):83-93.

Differences in postprandial lipaemic response between Northern and Southern Europeans.

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School of Biological Sciences, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK.


Postprandial lipaemic responses to two test meals were investigated in 30 Northern (15 British and 15 Irish), and 30 Southern (Greeks from Crete) healthy male Europeans. The meals were a saturated fatty acid (SFA) meal, which resembled the fatty acid composition of an average UK diet, and a monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) meal in which the fat consisted of olive oil. Habitual diets of the two groups differed, with higher total fat, (P < 0.03) and MUFA (P < 0.0001) and lower polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) (P < 0.0001) intakes in Southern than Northern Europeans. Levels of total MUFA (P < 0.02) and oleic acid (P < 0.004) were also higher in adipose tissue of Southern in comparison to Northern Europeans. In both European groups there were no significant differences in postprandial triglyceride response between the two meal types, SFA or MUFA. However, Northern and Southern Europeans showed significant differences in their patterns of postprandial response in plasma triglycerides (P < 0.0001), apolipoprotein B-48 (P < 0.0001), NEFA (P < 0.0001), insulin (P < 0.0007), and factor VII activity (P-0.03). In the case of NEFA, areas under the response curve were higher following the SFA than the MUFA meal for both groups, (P < 0.003) and were greater in Southern than Northern Europeans (P < 0.002) and apo B-48 responses were lower (P < 0.005). Some of these differences may reflect differences in fasting levels since fasting apolipoprotein B-48 levels were lower (P < 0.01) and fasting NEFA (P < 0.02) and insulin (P < 0.005) were higher in the Southern than in the Northern Europeans. In addition, 9 h postprandial post-heparin lipoprotein lipase activity was lower in the Southern than in the Northern Europeans (P < 0.0006). This is the first report of differences in postprandial lipid, factor VII and insulin responses in Southern and Northern Europeans which may be of importance in explaining the different susceptibilities of these two populations to risk of coronary artery disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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