Obesity and post-prandial lipid metabolism. Feast or famine?

I.J. Martins, Trevor Redgrave

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Both in Western countries and in third world countries there is an increasing incidence of obesity. Obesity per se or insulin resistance associated with obesity may increase cardiovascular risk factors including dyslipidemia, hypertension and Type 2 diabetes. Over the past decade the understanding has increased of specific mediators in the hypothalamus that are involved in regulating food intake and body weight. In obese humans fasting plasma lipids can be normal but postprandial lipid metabolism is abnormal with an accumulation of triglyceride-rich remnant lipoproteins. In viscerally obese men chylomicron remnant catabolism was markedly decreased when compared with lean individuals. The decreased clearance of chylomicron remnants in viscerally obese subjects may be explained by competition between chylomicron remnants and the increased hepatic production of VLDL for clearance by low density lipoprotein receptors. Increased food intake in rodent models of obesity was shown to be associated with a delay in the catabolism of remnant lipoprotein particles. Prevention of hyperphagia was found to correct the impairment in the metabolism of remnant lipoproteins. Under fasting and food restricted conditions the improvement of remnant metabolism was associated with an increased oxidation of remnant lipids as determined by a novel stable isotope breath test. Anti-obesity and lipid lowering drugs have been used for the treatment of obesity. Inhibitors of cholesterol synthesis inhibitors (statins) have been shown to be effective in treating dyslipidemia. Inhibition of cholesterol synthesis with Atorvastatin was shown to improve chylomicron metabolism by increasing chylomicron remnant catabolism in obese subjects as assessed by the newly developed stable isotope breath test.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-141
JournalJournal of Nutritional Biochemistry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2004


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