The effect of longer-term plant sterol and stanol consumption on apolipoprotein CII and apolipoprotein CIII concentrations in humans

  • Claire Lemmens


Background: Elevated fasting and postprandial serum levels of triacylglycerol (TAG) are a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD). The dietary components plant sterols and stanols can be used as strategy against elevated TAG levels. In a recent study it was found that longer-term plant stanol consumption resulted in a higher postprandial TAG response compared to sterol consumption after a second meal. The explanation for this observed difference remained unclear. Possibly the clearance of TAG from the blood might be affected differently. Specialized particles are responsible for the transportation of TAG in the blood, called the lipoproteins. These particles contain apolipoproteins CII (apoCII) and CIII (apoCIII) which have an activating and inhibiting effect on the enzyme lipoprotein lipase (LPL) responsible for the clearance of TAG from the blood. Objective: The objective was to examine if postprandial apoCII and apoCIII responses could explain observed differences in postprandial TAG response after longer-term sterol and stanol consumption. Methods: Healthy subjects (n=42) participated in a randomized control trial consisting of three intervention periods during which the participants consumed either control margarine, or margarine enriched with plant sterols or plant stanols. Blood was sampled under fasting conditions and after the consumption of breakfast and lunch. ApoCII and apoCIII concentrations in serum were measured by an immunoturbimetric immunoassay. Results: Both iAUC and iAUCmin of postprandial apoCII concentrations were similar between all three conditions ( p=0.965 and p=0.563 respectively). Postprandial iAUC and iAUCmin of apoCIII concentrations also showed no difference between conditions (p=0.342 and p=0.955 respectively). In the control group, the iAUC of postprandial apoCIII concentrations was higher after the second meal compared to the first meal. (p=0.037).Conclusion: Postprandial apoCII and apoCIII responses were not affected by longer-term plant sterol and stanol consumption, therefore changes in concentrations of these two apolipoproteins can be ruled out as explanation for the observed differences in TAG response


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