Background: Evidence indicates that different types of fat have different effects on the postprandial plasma triacylglycerol response. Therefore, the type of fat may influence the appearance of beta-carotene in postprandial triacylglycerol-rich lipoproteins, which is used as an indicator of intestinal beta-carotene absorption.
Objective: We compared in female subjects the appearance of beta-carotene in plasma triacylglycerol-rich lipoproteins after beta-carotene was ingested with a meal containing sunflower oil or beef tallow.
Design: Women (n = 11) each ingested 2 different vitamin A-free, fat-rich meals that were supplemented with beta-carotene (47 micromol) and contained equivalent amounts (60 g) of sunflower oil or beef tallow. Blood samples were collected hourly from 0 to 10 h; additional samples were collected at selected intervals until 528 h. In a subgroup of the women (n = 7), plasma chylomicrons and 3 subfractions of VLDLs were separated by cumulative rate ultracentrifugation.
Results: The appearance of beta-carotene in chylomicrons and in each VLDL subfraction was lower after ingestion with the meal containing sunflower oil than after ingestion with the meal containing beef tallow (P < 0.03). In chylomicrons, the area under the concentration-versus-time curve (AUC) for beta-carotene was 38.1 +/- 13.6% lower (P < 0.03); in contrast, the AUC for triacylglycerol was higher (P < 0.05) after the sunflower-oil-rich meal than after the beef-tallow-rich meal.
Conclusions: Ingestion of beta-carotene with a meal rich in sunflower oil as compared with a meal rich in beef tallow results in lower appearance of beta-carotene and greater appearance of triacylglycerol in triacylglycerol-rich lipoproteins.