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Short-Term Low-Carbohydrate High-Fat Diet in Healthy Young Males Renders the Endothelium Susceptible to Hyperglycemia-Induced Damage, An Exploratory Analysis

School of Health and Exercise Sciences, University of British Columbia Okanagan, Kelowna, BC V1V 1V7, Canada
Department of Kinesiology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2019, 11(3), 489;
Received: 22 December 2018 / Revised: 14 February 2019 / Accepted: 20 February 2019 / Published: 26 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diet and Vascular Function)
PDF [688 KB, uploaded 26 February 2019]


Postprandial hyperglycemia has been linked to elevated risk of cardiovascular disease. Endothelial dysfunction and/or damage may be one of the mechanisms through which this occurs. In this exploratory study, we determined whether acute glucose ingestion would increase markers of endothelial damage/activation and impair endothelial function before and after a short-term low-carbohydrate high-fat diet (HFD) designed to induce relative glucose intolerance. Nine healthy young males (body mass index 23.2 ± 2 kg/m2) consumed a 75 g glucose drink before and <24 hours after consuming seven days of an iso-energetic HFD consisting of ~70% energy from fat, ~10% energy from carbohydrates, and ~20% energy from protein. CD31+/CD42b- and CD62E+ endothelial microparticles (EMPs) were enumerated at fasting, 1 hour (1 h), and 2 hours (2 h) post-consumption of the glucose drink. Flow-mediated dilation (FMD), arterial stiffness, and diameter, velocity, and flow of the common and internal carotid, and vertebral arteries were assessed in the fasting state and 1 h post glucose consumption. After the HFD, CD31+/CD42b- EMPs were elevated at 1 h compared to 2 h (p = 0.037), with a tendency for an increase above fasting (p = 0.06) only post-HFD. CD62E EMPs followed the same pattern with increased concentration at 1 h compared to 2 h (p = 0.005) post-HFD, with a tendency to be increased above fasting levels (p = 0.078). FMD was reduced at 1 h post glucose consumption both pre- (p = 0.01) and post-HFD (p = 0.005). There was also a reduction in FMD in the fasting state following the HFD (p = 0.02). In conclusion, one week of low-carbohydrate high-fat feeding that leads to a relative impairment in glucose homeostasis in healthy young adults may predispose the endothelium to hyperglycemia-induced damage. View Full-Text
Keywords: high-fat diet; microparticles; EMPs; flow-mediated dilation; FMD high-fat diet; microparticles; EMPs; flow-mediated dilation; FMD

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Durrer, C.; Lewis, N.; Wan, Z.; Ainslie, P.N.; Jenkins, N.T.; Little, J.P. Short-Term Low-Carbohydrate High-Fat Diet in Healthy Young Males Renders the Endothelium Susceptible to Hyperglycemia-Induced Damage, An Exploratory Analysis. Nutrients 2019, 11, 489.

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