Responses to high-fat challenges varying in fat type in subjects with different metabolic risk phenotypes: a randomized trial

S.J. van Dijk, M.R. Mensink, D. Esser, E.J.M. Feskens, M.R. Muller, L.A. Afman

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Background The ability of subjects to respond to nutritional challenges can reflect the flexibility of their biological system. Nutritional challenge tests could be used as an indicator of health status but more knowledge on metabolic and immune responses of different subjects to nutritional challenges is needed. The aim of this study was to compare the responses to high-fat challenges varying in fat type in subjects with different metabolic risk phenotypes. Methodology/Principal Findings In a cross-over design 42 men (age 50–70 y) consumed three high-fat shakes containing saturated fat (SFA), monounsaturated fat (MUFA) or n-3 polyunsaturated (PUFA). Men were selected on BMI and health status (lean, obese or obese diabetic) and phenotyped with MRI for adipose tissue distribution. Before and 2 and 4 h after shake consumption blood was drawn for measurement of expression of metabolic and inflammation-related genes in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), plasma triglycerides (TAG), glucose, insulin, cytokines and ex vivo PBMC immune response capacity. The MUFA and n-3 PUFA challenge, compared to the SFA challenge, induced higher changes in expression of inflammation genes MCP1 and IL1ß in PBMCs. Obese and obese diabetic subjects had different PBMC gene expression and metabolic responses to high-fat challenges compared to lean subjects. The MUFA challenge induced the most pronounced TAG response, mainly in obese and obese diabetic subjects. Conclusion/Significance The PBMC gene expression response and metabolic response to high-fat challenges were affected by fat type and metabolic risk phenotype. Based on our results we suggest using a MUFA challenge to reveal differences in response capacity of subjects
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere41388
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2012



  • gene-expression profiles
  • blood mononuclear-cells
  • postprandial lipemia
  • nonfasting triglycerides
  • insulin sensitivity
  • visceral adiposity
  • glucose-tolerance
  • rich lipoproteins
  • healthy-subjects
  • men

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