Alcohol and Postprandial Lipemia

Effect of Alcohol on Postprandial Lipemia with and without Preprandial Exercise

Paolo M. Suter, MD, MS, FACN, Margreta Gerritsen-Zehnder, MD, Erik Häsler, MD, Magdalen Gürtler, MD, Wilhelm Vetter, MD, and Edgar Hänseler, PhD

Medical Policlinic, Department of Internal Medicine(P.M.S., M.G.-Z., E.H., M.G., W.V.) and the Institute of Clinical Chemistry(E.H.), University Hospital, Zürich, SWITZERLAND []

Objective: Different factors such as exercise habits and alcohol consumption may modulate postprandial lipid metabolism. What are the effects of alcohol on postprandial metabolism in untrained and trained individuals?

Methods: The postprandial lipid response to an oral fat load (1 g fat per kg body weight (bw)) with and without alcohol (0.5 g/kg bw) was evaluated in physically trained healthy young men (T, n = 12, mean±SD age 27 ±3 years, BMI 21.6±1.4 kg/m2) after a premeal running session and in untrained healthy young men (UT, n = 8, age 24±1 years, BMI 23.2±1.8 kg/m2) without a premeal exercise session. The T subjects ingested 35.5 ± 2.7 g alcohol, the UT subjects 38 ± 0.6 g. Fat was given as butter and the carbohydrates as marmalade and zwieback (rusk). The T subjects received 1.20 ± 0.05 g fat and 1.02 ± 0.04 g carbohydrates per kilogram lean body mass. The corresponding numbers for the UT subjects were 1.28 ± 0.08 g and 1.20 ± 0.06 g. The postprandial lipemia was observed for an eight-hour period.

Results: Alcohol led to an increase to the triacylglycerol area under the curve (AUC) in the T subjects from 7.4 ± 04 mmol/L*h on the control day to 11.3 ± 0.9 mmol/L*h (p = 0.001). The corresponding numbers in the UT subjects were 13.4 ± 2.3 mmol/L*h to 19.4 ± 3.5 mmol/L*h (p = 0.004). Alcohol intake and physical activity training were the major determinants of the triacylglycerol (TG) AUC in these subjects.

Conclusion: The ingestion of a high fat meal in combination with alcohol leads to an increased in the postprandial lipemia independently from the level of training. It is suggested that this unfavorable effect of alcohol and a high fat diet could be modified by fat restriction or a combination of a premeal exercise session and a higher level of physical activity training.

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