Background: The digestion of sphingolipids (SL) is slow and is catalyzed by mucosal enzymes. Dietary SL was shown to inhibit cholesterol absorption and to lower plasma cholesterol, triglycerides (TG) and hepatic fat accumulation in animal models.
Aim: A dairy formulation based on fractionation of buttermilk, which is enriched in milk polar lipids of which SL account for a large part is now available. In this study, we examined whether this formulation, when ingested with a standard breakfast, exerted a different influence on postprandial lipids than an equivalent control formulation lacking the polar milk lipids.
Methods: A total of 18 healthy male volunteers aged 22-65 years ingested a high-fat (40 g) standard breakfast together with a milk-like formulation containing 975 mg of milk SL (A) or the control formulation (B). Postprandial levels of TG, total, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, apolipoprotein AI (ApoAI), ApoB, glucose and insulin were measured 1 to 7 h after the meal.
Results: No difference was seen between experimental and control groups in postprandial levels of TG, insulin, ApoA1 or ApoB. After 1 hour there was a trend of lower cholesterol concentrations in large TG-rich lipoproteins after formulation A.
Conclusion: The SL-rich buttermilk drink may affect cholesterol concentrations in TG-rich lipoproteins, but has no effect on postprandial TG after a breakfast with butter fat as the major lipid.