Combined light exercise after meal intake suppresses postprandial serum triglyceride

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2013 Feb;45(2):245-52. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e31826f3107.


Purpose: The effect of exercise performed on the day of meal intake on postprandial triglyceride concentration, which is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease, is unclear. The present study investigated the effects of combined low-intensity exercise before and after a high-fat meal on serum triglyceride concentrations.

Methods: Ten healthy young subjects (four men and six women) consumed a relatively high-fat diet (fat energy ratio: men = 37.8%, women = 39.1%). In the exercise trials, subjects performed brisk walking (2.0 km) after light resistance exercise, either 60 min before or after meal intake. Blood samples were collected before and 2, 4, and 6 h after meal intake.

Results: Exercise resulted in a reduction in the transient elevation in serum triglyceride concentration observed 2 h after meal intake in the postmeal trial (131 ± 67 mg·dL) when compared with the sedentary trial (172 ± 71 mg·dL; 95% confidence interval = 7.2-79.4, d = -1.00). This was also observed in the premeal trial, although the effect was less pronounced (148 ± 66 mg·dL; 95% confidence interval = -9.0 to 59.0, d = -0.57). The triglyceride concentrations in the VLDL, LDL, and HDL fractions, but not the chylomicron fraction, were also decreased 2 h after meal intake in both exercise trials, whereas the integrated triglyceride values after meal intake showed a greater decrease when exercise was performed after meal intake (d = -1.23) than before (d = -0.47). The concentration of serum growth hormone was drastically increased after exercise in both trials.

Conclusions: Low-intensity exercise on the day of meal intake, particular after intake, can prevent the elevation of postprandial triglyceride concentration in healthy young subjects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Area Under Curve
  • Calorimetry, Indirect
  • Carbon Dioxide / metabolism
  • Diet, High-Fat*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology
  • Postprandial Period*
  • Risk Factors
  • Triglycerides / blood*
  • Young Adult


  • Triglycerides
  • Carbon Dioxide