It is now evident that high levels of inflammatory markers are directly related to several serious health problems, including heart disease, diabetes and obesity. Regular dietary choices can influence levels of inflammatory markers, although we do not know for certain how the various foods and different fat sources we eat actually affect these markers. In the United States, a large number of people eat at fast food restaurants regularly. In general, fast food tends to be high in saturated fats and low in mono-unsaturated fats. Even """"""""healthier"""""""" choices, such as fruit and vegetable salads are served with dressings loaded with saturated fats. Saturated fat is associated with high cholesterol levels;whereas, mono-unsaturated fat is thought to contribute to lower cholesterol levels. The purpose of this research study is to determine the acute effect of eating a fast food meal high in saturated fat and whether it will result in greater increases in inflammatory markers and declines in testosterone than eating a meal with low levels of saturated fat and higher levels of mono-unsaturated fat. This study is a first step in learning about how dietary fat intake can directly impact risk factors for heart disease, diabetes and obesity. Over three days, separated by three-day intervals, healthy adult individuals were given an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT), a meal rich in saturated fat (similar to a fast food) and a meal rich in unsaturated fat (healthy fat). Blood samples were collected at regular intervals over 24 hours following the meal or OGTT to investigate the different effects of these interventions on circulating lipids, markers of oxidative stress, inflammation and testosterone. Analyses are designed to evalute the acute connection between diet and risk factors for atherosclerosis focusing on inflammatory markers in particular. Data collection has been completed, with 30 subjects enrolled in the study, and all study samples collected. Data on levels of fractionated lipids, pro-inflammatory cytokines, inflammatory markers, markers of oxidative stress and testosterone has been received and preliminary data analyses have been conducted.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
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