Dietary fat differentially influences regulatory endothelial function during the postprandial state in patients with metabolic syndrome: from the LIPGENE study

Atherosclerosis. 2010 Apr;209(2):533-8. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2009.09.023. Epub 2009 Sep 20.


Objective: To investigate whether endothelium-dependent vasomotor function and plasma levels of cellular adhesion molecules are affected by diets with different fat quantity and quality during the postprandial state in subjects with the metabolic syndrome (MetS).

Methods: Patients were randomly assigned to one of four isoenergetic diets distinct in fat quantity and quality: high-SFA (HSFA); high-MUFA (HMUFA) and two low-fat, high-complex carbohydrate (LFHCC) diets, supplemented with 1.24g/day of long chain n-3 PUFA (LC n-3 PUFA) or placebo for 12 weeks each. Flow-associated vasodilatation of the brachial artery and postprandial plasma levels of total nitrites, nitric oxide (NO) synthase, soluble intercellular cell adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1), soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (sVCAM-1), and P-selectin were assessed post-intervention.

Results: Post-intervention postprandial flow-associated vasodilatation was significantly higher after the HMUFA diet (P<0.05) compared to subjects adhering to the other three diets. Consistently, the postprandial NO synthase response significantly increased during the HMUFA compared with the HSFA and LFHCC (placebo) diets. Postprandial sICAM-1 levels were lower during the HMUFA than during the HSFA and LFHCC n-3 diets.

Conclusions: Our data support the notion that the HMUFA diet improves postprandial endothelial cell function and decreases postprandial plasma sICAM-1 concentrations in patients with the MetS. These findings suggest that the postprandial state is important for understanding possible cardio-protective effects associated with the Mediterranean diet particularly in subject with the MetS.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Diet, Mediterranean
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Fats / pharmacology*
  • Endothelial Cells / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 / blood
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type III / blood
  • P-Selectin / blood
  • Postprandial Period
  • Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1 / blood
  • Vasodilation


  • Dietary Fats
  • P-Selectin
  • Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1
  • NOS3 protein, human
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type III