The present study was carried out to determine effects of test meals of different fatty acid compositions on postprandial lipoprotein and apolipoprotein metabolism.
The study was a randomized, single blind design.
The study was carried out in the Clinical Investigation Unit of the Royal Surrey County Hospital.
Twelve male normal subjects with an average age of 22.4 +/- 1.4 years (mean +/- SD) were selected from the student population of the University of Surrey; one subject dropped out of the study because he found the test meal unpalatable.
The subjects were given three evening test meals on three separate occasions, in which the oils used were either a mixed oil (rich in saturated fatty acids and approximated the fatty acid intake of the current UK diet), corn oil (rich in n-6 fatty acids), or fish oil (rich in n-3 fatty acids) 40 g of the oil under investigation were incorporated into a rice-based test meal. Triacylglycerol-rich lipoproteins-triacylglycerol (TRL-TAG), TRL-cholesterol (TRL-cholesterol), plasma-TAG, plasma cholesterol (T-C), and serum apolipoprotein A-I and B (apo A-I and B) responses were measured. Postprandial responses were followed for 11 h.
Postprandial plasma-TAG responses, calculated as incremental areas under the response curves (IAUC) were significantly reduced following the fish oil meal [365.5 +/- 145.4 mmol/l x min (mean +/- SD)[ compared with the mixed oil meal (552.0 +/- 141.7 mmol/l x min) (P < 0.05) and there was a strong trend towards the same direction in the TRL-TAG responses. In all instances, plasma-and TRL-TAG showed a biphasic response with increased concentrations occurring at 1h and between 3 and 7h postprandially. TRL-cholesterol, T-C, and serum apo A-I and B responses to the three meals were similar.
The findings support the view that fish oils decrease postprandial lipaemia and this may be an important aspect of their beneficial effects in reducing risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). Further work is required to determine the mechanisms responsible for this effect.