Human Postprandial Nutrient Metabolism and Low-Grade Inflammation: A Narrative Review

Nutrients. 2019 Dec 7;11(12):3000. doi: 10.3390/nu11123000.


The importance of the postprandial state has been acknowledged, since hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia are linked with several chronic systemic low-grade inflammation conditions. Humans spend more than 16 h per day in the postprandial state and the postprandial state is acknowledged as a complex interplay between nutrients, hormones and diet-derived metabolites. The purpose of this review is to provide insight into the physiology of the postprandial inflammatory response, the role of different nutrients, the pro-inflammatory effects of metabolic endotoxemia and the anti-inflammatory effects of bile acids. Moreover, we discuss nutritional strategies that may be linked to the described pathways to modulate the inflammatory component of the postprandial response.

Keywords: bile acids; low-grade inflammation; microbiome; nutrients; postprandial inflammation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bile Acids and Salts / immunology*
  • Bile Acids and Salts / metabolism*
  • Complement C3 / metabolism
  • Diet, Mediterranean
  • Diet, Western
  • Endotoxemia / metabolism*
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors / immunology
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / metabolism*
  • Lipopolysaccharides / blood
  • Metabolic Diseases / diet therapy
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Nutrients / metabolism*
  • Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Postprandial Period
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / immunology
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / metabolism
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / immunology
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / metabolism


  • Bile Acids and Salts
  • Complement C3
  • FGF19 protein, human
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • NF-kappa B
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled
  • XCR1 protein, human
  • farnesoid X-activated receptor
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors