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Effects of short-term carbohydrate or fat overfeeding on energy expenditure and plasma leptin concentrations in healthy female subjects


OBJECTIVE: To determine the effects of excess carbohydrate or fat intake on plasma leptin concentrations and energy expenditure.

DESIGN: Ten healthy lean females were studied: (a) during a 3 day isoenergetic diet (ISO); (b) during 3 day carbohydrate overfeeding (CHO OF); and (c) during 3 day fat overfeeding (FAT OF). During each test, basal metabolic rate, the energy expended during mild physical activity and recovery, and 24 h energy expenditure (24 h EE) were measured with indirect calorimetry. The concentrations of glucose and lactate were monitored in subcutaneous interstitial fluid over a 24 h period using microdialysis. Plasma hormone and substrate concentrations were measured in a blood sample collected in the morning of the fourth day.

RESULTS: CHO OF increased plasma leptin concentrations by 28%, and 24 h EE by 7%. Basal metabolic rate and the energy expended during physical activity were not affected. FAT OF did not significantly change plasma leptin concentrations or energy expenditure. There was no relationship between changes in leptin concentrations and changes in energy expenditure, suggesting that leptin is not involved in the stimulation of energy metabolism during overfeeding. Interstitial subcutaneous glucose and lactate concentrations were not altered by CHO OF and FAT OF.

CONCLUSIONS: CHO OF, but not FAT OF, increases energy expenditure and leptin concentration.

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This work was supported by a grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation (no. 32-45387.95, E. Jéquier). The authors thank Fresenius AG (Stans, Switzerland) for having provided the nutrition solutions.

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Correspondence to L Tappy.

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Dirlewanger, M., Vetta, V., Guenat, E. et al. Effects of short-term carbohydrate or fat overfeeding on energy expenditure and plasma leptin concentrations in healthy female subjects. Int J Obes 24, 1413–1418 (2000).

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  • leptin
  • 24 h EE
  • basal metabolic rate
  • physical activity
  • insulin
  • glucose
  • microdialysis
  • overfeeding

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