A dose-response strategy reveals differences between normal-weight and obese men in their metabolic and inflammatory responses to a high-fat meal
A dose-response strategy may not only allow investigation of the impact of foods and nutrients on human health but may also reveal differences in the response of individuals to food ingestion based on their metabolic health status. In a randomized crossover study, we challenged 19 normal-weight (BMI: 20-25 kg/m(2)) and 18 obese (BMI: >30 kg/m(2)) men with 500, 1000, and 1500 kcal of a high-fat (HF) meal (60.5% energy from fat). Blood was taken at baseline and up to 6 h postprandially and analyzed for a range of metabolic, inflammatory, and hormonal variables, including plasma glucose, lipids, and C-reactive protein and serum insulin, glucagon-like peptide-1, interleukin-6 (IL-6), and endotoxin. Insulin was the only variable that could differentiate the postprandial response of normal-weight and obese participants at each of the 3 caloric doses. A significant response of the inflammatory marker IL-6 was only observed in the obese group after ingestion of the HF meal containing 1500 kcal [net incremental AUC (iAUC) = 22.9 +/- 6.8 pg/mL x 6 h, P = 0.002]. Furthermore, the net iAUC for triglycerides significantly increased from the 1000 to the 1500 kcal meal in the obese group (5.0 +/- 0.5 mmol/L X 6 h vs. 6.0 +/- 0.5 mmol/L X 6 h; P=0.015) but not in the normal-weight group (4.3 +/- 0.5 mmol/L X 6 h vs. 4.8 +/- 0.5 mmol/L x 6 h; P=0.31). We propose that caloric dose-response studies may contribute to a better understanding of the metabolic impact of food on the human organism. This study was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT01446068.