Acute effects of plant stanol esters on postprandial metabolism and its relation with changes in serum lipids after chronic intake

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BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES:Plant stanol esters lower serum low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol (LDL-C), but responses between individuals vary widely. As the ability of subjects to respond to acute dietary challenges may reflect the flexibility to adapt to changes on the longer term, we related subjects' acute postprandial metabolic changes to changes in serum lipoproteins after chronic intake of plant stanol esters.SUBJECTS/METHODS:In a double-blind crossover design, 20 healthy subjects received in random order a high-fat shake enriched with or without plant stanol esters (4 g). Blood samples were taken during 4 h to examine lipid, glucose and lipoprotein profiles. Two subjects dropped out. For the 3 weeks after this postprandial test, the subjects who received the shake with plant stanol esters continued the consumption of plant stanol-enriched (3g/day) margarine and subjects receiving the control shake in the postprandial test consumed for the next 3 weeks a control margarine. After the washout period, subjects received the other shake and margarines.RESULTS:The margarine enriched with plant stanol esters lowered concentrations of total cholesterol by 7.3% (P < 0.01), LDL-C by 9.5% (P < 0.01) and apoB100 by 8.6% (P < 0.01). Furthermore, particle concentrations of total very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL), small VLDL and large LDL were reduced by 26.6% (P = 0.02), 27.6% (P = 0.02) and 12.3% (P = 0.04), respectively. Plant stanol esters did not affect parameters related to lipid and glucose metabolism during the postprandial phase. However, the incremental area under the curve (iAUC) of the postprandial glucose concentration after consuming the control shake correlated positively with changes in fasting concentrations of total cholesterol, LDL-C, apoB100, total VLDL, small VLDL and intermediate-density lipoprotein after 3 weeks.CONCLUSIONS:A single dose of plant stanol esters does not change postprandial lipid and lipoprotein profiles. However, postprandial glucose responses may predict the effects of chronic plant stanol ester consumption.

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