Effect of a single high-fat meal on endothelial function in healthy subjects

Robert A. Vogel, Mary C. Corretti, Gary D. Plotnick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

627 Scopus citations


Although there is a well-established relation between serum cholesterol and coronary artery disease risk, individual and national variations in this association suggest that other factors are involved in atherogenesis. High- fat diet associated triglyceride-rich lipoproteins have also been suggested to be atherogenic. To assess the direct effect of postprandial triglyceride- rich lipoproteins on endothelial function, an early factor in atherogenesis- 10 healthy, normocholesterolemic volunteers-were studied before and for 6 hours after single isocaloric high- and low-fat meals (900 calorie; 50 and 0 g fat, respectively). Endothelial function, in the farm of flow-mediated vasoactivity, was assessed in the brachial artery using 7.5-MHz ultrasound as percent arterial diameter change 1 minute after 5 minutes of upper-arm arterial occlusion. Serum lipoproteins and glucose were determined before eating and 2 and 4 hours postprandially. Serum triglycerides increased from 94 ± 55 mg/dl preprandially to 147 ± 80 mg/dl 2 hours after the high-fat meal (p = 0.05). Flow-dependent vasoactivity decreased from 21 ± 5% preprandially to 11 ± 4%, 11 ± 6%, and 10 ± 3% at 2, 3, and 4 hours after the high-fat meal, respectively (all p <0.05 compared with low-fat meal data). No changes in lipoproteins or flow-mediated vasoactivity were observed after the low-fat meal. Fasting low-density lipoprotein cholesterol correlated inversely (r = -0.47, p = 0.04) with preprandial flow-mediated vasoactivity, but triglyceride level did not. Mean change in postprandial flow-mediated vasoactivity at 2, 3, and 4 hours correlated with change in 2- hour serum triglycerides (r = -0.51, p = 0.02). These results demonstrate that a single high-fat meal transiently impairs endothelial function. These findings identify a potential process by which a high-fat diet may be atherogenic independent of induced changes in cholesterol.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)350-354
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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