OBJECTIVES We sought to study the effects of a fatty meal on vascular react
ivity, including endothelial function and maximal vasodilation.
BACKGROUND Recent reports regarding the physiological changes in peripheral
vasculature after eating a fatty meal have been controversial.
METHODS Twelve volunteers were studied before, 3 h after, and 6 h after a h
igh-fat meal (1030 kcal, 61 g fat) rich in saturated fatty acids, and 10 we
re restudied after a similar meal rich in monounsaturated fatty acids. Endo
thelial function was assessed as flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) in the brac
hial artery using ultrasound. Resting and postischemic forearm blood flow (
FBF) were recorded using venous occlusion strain-gauge plethysmography, bef
ore, and every 10 to 15 s after, 5 min upper arm ischemia.
RESULTS Brachial artery basal diameter, resting FBF and postischemic hypere
mia increased after high-fat meats (all p < 0.001), whereas FMD did not cha
nge. The increase in resting FBF correlated with increases in postprandial
insulin (r = 0.80, p < 0.002) and triglyceride (r = 0.77, p < 0.005) levels
CONCLUSIONS We concluded that eating a fatty meal induces vasodilation and
increases resting and stimulated FBF and that these observations are probab
ly mediated by postprandial changes in insulin and/or triglyceride levels.
The metabolic changes that occur after meals are not associated with impair
ed endothelial nitric oxide release in the conduit arteries, (C) 2000 by th
e American College of Cardiology.