Modifying the n-6/n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid ratio of a high-saturated fat challenge does not acutely attenuate postprandial changes in inflammatory markers in men with metabolic syndrome

Metabolism. 2009 Dec;58(12):1709-16. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2009.05.031. Epub 2009 Jul 21.


Metabolic syndrome (MetS) features chronic inflammation and exaggerated postprandial triacylglyceride (TAG) responses. Fasting concentrations of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and C-reactive protein (CRP), key inflammatory mediators, decrease after sustained n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) intake; however, the ability of n-3 PUFA to attenuate postprandial inflammatory responses is not well studied. Thus, we examined the acute effect of modifying the n-6/n-3 PUFA ratio of a high-saturated fatty acid (SFA) oral fat tolerance test (OFTT) on postprandial TAG and inflammatory responses in men with MetS. Men (n = 8, > or = 45 years old) with MetS ingested 2 high-SFA OFTTs (1 g fat per kilogram body weight), with either a 20:1 (low n-3) or 2:1 (high n-3) n-6/n-3 PUFA ratio, and a water control in a randomized crossover design. Blood samples were collected for 8 hours after treatment to measure postprandial TAG, free fatty acids, IL-6, soluble IL-6 receptor, and CRP. Postprandial TAG increased at the same rate after ingestion of the low-n-3 and high-n-3 OFTTs; however, both OFTTs were significantly different from the water control. There were no differences in the rate at which IL-6 concentrations increased after ingestion of either of the OFTTs compared with water. Furthermore, neither time nor treatment affected circulating soluble IL-6 receptor or CRP concentrations. Thus, increasing the n-3 PUFA content of a high-SFA OFTT does not acutely change postprandial TAG or inflammatory responses in men with MetS.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Fatty Acids*
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified / blood
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / blood*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-6 / blood*
  • Glycerides / blood
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / blood*
  • Interleukin-6 / blood
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / blood*
  • Middle Aged
  • Postprandial Period / physiology*
  • Receptors, Interleukin-6 / metabolism


  • Biomarkers
  • Fatty Acids
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-6
  • Glycerides
  • Interleukin-6
  • Receptors, Interleukin-6
  • C-Reactive Protein