Disclosure: The authors declared no conflict of interest.
The effect of short-term overfeeding on serum lipids in healthy humans
Article first published online: 29 JUL 2013
Copyright © 2013 The Obesity Society
Volume 21, Issue 12, pages E649–E659, December 2013
How to Cite
Heilbronn, L. K., Coster, A. C.F., Campbell, L. V., Greenfield, J. R., Lange, K., Christopher, M. J., Meikle, P. J. and Samocha-Bonet, D. (2013), The effect of short-term overfeeding on serum lipids in healthy humans. Obesity, 21: E649–E659. doi: 10.1002/oby.20508
Author contributions: LKH and DS-B conceived and carried out experiments, analyzed data, interpreted data and wrote the manuscript, ACFC analyzed data and generated figures, KL analyzed data, LVC and JRG interpreted the data, MJC and PJM analyzed and interpreted data. All authors were involved in writing the paper and had final approval of the submitted manuscript.
Funding agencies: This work was supported by funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) of Australia, the OIS Program of the Victorian Government, Australia, Diabetes Australia Research Trust and the Sachdev Foundation. PJM is supported by a NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship, LKH by Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellowship and DS-B by Australian Diabetes Society (ADS) Fellowship.
- Issue published online: 3 DEC 2013
- Article first published online: 29 JUL 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 3 MAY 2013 03:31AM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 24 APR 2013
- Manuscript Received: 22 JAN 2013
While chronic obesity is associated with alterations in circulating glycerolipids, sphingolipids and plasmalogens, the effects of short-term overfeeding in humans are unclear.
Design and Methods
Healthy individuals (n = 40) were overfed by 1,250 kcal day−1 for 28 days. Insulin sensitivity (hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp), abdominal fat distribution and serum lipidomics (mass spectrometry) were assessed.
Overfeeding increased liver fat, insulin resistance, serum C-reactive protein and urinary F2-isoprostanes. HDL increased (11% ± 2%, P < 0.001) while LDL, triglycerides and nonesterified fatty acids were unchanged. Three hundred and thirty three serum lipids were detected, of which 13% increased and 20% decreased with overfeeding. Total diacylglycerol and lysoalkylphosphatidylcholine (LPC(O)) concentrations decreased (P < 0.01), while total ceramide, Cer22:0 and Cer24:0 increased (P ≤ 0.01). The most notable increases were observed in the HDL-associated phosphatidylethanolamine-based plasmalogens and their precursors alkylhosphatidylethanolamine (18 ± 5% and 38 ± 8% respectively, P ≤ 0.01).
Overfeeding led to weight gain and changes in the serum lipid profile. Increases in ceramides were noted, which left unchecked may promote systemic insulin resistance. Uniform increases were observed in plasmalogens and their precursors. Because plasmalogens are powerful antioxidants, this may be an appropriate response against increased oxidative stress generated by over-nutrition. The metabolic consequences of changes in concentrations of many circulating lipid species with overfeeding require further study. Copyright © 2013 The Obesity Society