Even One High-Fat Meal Can Harm the Metabolism

Acute dietary fat intake initiates alterations in energy metabolism and insulin resistance. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2017

Effects of saturated fatty acids on liver, muscle and adipose tissue.© DDZ

A single ingestion of a large quantity of palm oil suffices to reduce the body's sensitivity to insulin and also to induce increased fat deposits and changes in the energy metabolism of the liver.
DZD researchers from the German Diabetes Center, together with scientists from Helmholtz Zentrum München and Portuguese colleagues, have published a study in "The Journal of Clinical Investigation" on the effects of high-fat intake in healthy, lean male participants. Each participant randomly received a flavored palm oil drink or a glass of clear water as a control experiment. The palm oil drink contained a similar amount of saturated fat as two cheeseburgers with bacon and a large portion of French fries or two pepperoni pizzas. The scientists showed that this single high-fat meal sufficed to reduce the insulin action, i.e., to induce insulin resistance and to increase the fat content of the liver. In addition, alterations in the energy metabolism of the liver were detected. The observed metabolic changes are similar to the changes observed in people with type 2 diabetes or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
The study results provide information about the earliest alterations in the liver metabolism, which in the case of overweight and diabetes can, over the long term, lead to fatty liver diseases.

Original publication:
Elisa Álvarez Hernández, Sabine Kahl, Anett Seelig, Paul Begovatz, Martin Irmler, Yuliya Kupriyanova, Bettina Nowotny, Peter Nowotny, Christian Herder, Cristina Barosa, Filipa Carvalho, Jan Rozman, Susanne Neschen, John G. Jones, Johannes Beckers, Martin Hrabě de Angelis and Michael Roden, Acute dietary fat intake initiates alterations in energy metabolism and insulin resistance, J Clin Invest. 2017., 23. Januar 2017. doi:10.1172/JCI89444.