Fractional oxidation of chylomicron-derived oleate is greater than that of palmitate in healthy adults fed frequent small meals

J Lipid Res. 1999 Dec;40(12):2322-32.


Differences in oxidation of individual dietary fatty acids could contribute to the effect of dietary fat composition on risk factors for non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease. Using a novel stable isotope technique, we compared fractional oxidation of chylomicron-derived oleate and palmitate in 10 healthy adults in a crossover study. 1-(13)C-labeled oleate or palmitate was emulsified into a eucaloric formula diet administered each 20 min for 7 h to produce a plateau in excretion of (13)C label in breath CO(2). Unlabeled oleate and palmitate each provided 16% of dietary energy, and other fatty acids provided 8% of energy. Total dietary fat was 40% of energy, carbohydrate was 46%, and protein was 14%. Diet without tracer was fed for 2 h before beginning tracer administration to establish a baseline fed state. Relative oxidation of oleate versus palmitate was defined as fractional oxidation of oleate divided by fractional oxidation of palmitate. Relative oxidation averaged 1.21 (99.5% confidence interval = 1.03;-1.39), indicating that fractional oxidation of oleate was significantly greater than that of palmitate.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Calorimetry, Indirect
  • Carbon Dioxide / metabolism
  • Carbon Radioisotopes / pharmacokinetics
  • Chylomicrons / chemistry*
  • Diet
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified / administration & dosage
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified / blood
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified / metabolism
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oleic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Oleic Acid / blood
  • Oleic Acid / metabolism*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Palmitates / administration & dosage
  • Palmitates / blood
  • Palmitates / metabolism*


  • Carbon Radioisotopes
  • Chylomicrons
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified
  • Palmitates
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Oleic Acid