Prescribing aerobic exercise for the regulation of postprandial lipid metabolism: Current research and recommendations

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Abstract

Prolonged presence of elevated plasma triglycerides (TGs) during the post-prandial period has been suggested to increase the risk for coronary artery disease. Aerobic exercise attenuates postprandial lipaemia and this has generally been described as a short-term effect of the exercise. Effects of exercise on postprandial lipaemia have mostly been investigated, and documented, with large exercise-induced energy expenditures (i.e. 1000 kcal). The exact mechanisms involved in the attenuation of postprandial lipaemia with exercise are not completely understood, but it appears that at least two mechanisms are involved: a decrease in TG secretion by the liver and an increase in plasma TG clearance by the muscle. Changes in the metabolism of other lipids, such as those in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, have been documented only when the exercise is performed some hours before the fat meal. Although factors such as the physical fitness and percentage body fat of an individual are likely to also be involved, the most important factors determining the magnitude of the attenuation in postprandial lipaemia appear to be the magnitude of the exercise-induced energy expenditure and the intensity of exercise. To date, the evidence suggests that healthy individuals can generally induce favourable changes in postprandial lipaemia with aerobic exercise that: (i) is completed during the period extending from 16 hours before a meal through 1.5 hours after a meal; (ii) is of moderate intensity; and (iii) results in an energy expenditure of approximately 500 kcal (or more).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)547-560
Number of pages14
JournalSports Medicine
Volume36
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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