We measured the incorporation of systemic free fatty acids (FFA) into circulating very low-density lipoprotein triglycerides (VLDL-TGs) under postabsorptive, postprandial, and walking conditions in humans. Fifty-five men and 85 premenopausal women with BMI 18–24 (lean) and 27–36 kg/m2 (overweight/obese) received an intravenous bolus injection of [1,1,2,3,3-2H5]glycerol (to measure VLDL-TG kinetics) and either [1-14C]palmitate or [9,10-3H]palmitate to determine the proportion of systemic FFA that is converted to VLDL-TG. Experiments started at 0630 h after a 12-h overnight fast. In the postabsorptive protocol, participants rested and remained fasted until 1330 h. In the postprandial protocol, volunteers ingested frequent portions of a fat-free smoothie. In the walking protocol, participants walked on a treadmill for 5.5 h at ∼3× resting energy expenditure. Approximately 7% of circulating FFA was converted into VLDL-TG. VLDL-TG secretion rates (SRs) were not statistically different among protocols. Visceral fat mass was the only independent predictor of VLDL-TG secretion, explaining 33–57% of the variance. The small proportion of systemic FFA that is converted to VLDL-TG can confound the expected relationship between plasma FFA concentration and VLDL-TG SRs. Regulation of VLDL-TG secretion is complex in that, despite a broad spectrum of physiological FFA concentrations, VLDL-TG SRs did not vary based on different acute substrate availability.
- Received November 9, 2012.
- Accepted February 20, 2013.
- © 2013 by the American Diabetes Association.
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