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Metabolic response to a large starch meal after rest and exercise: comparison between men and women


Background: Net whole-body and hepatic de novo lipogenesis could be more active in women than in men, but no comparison has been made between men and women in the two phases of the ovarian cycle after ingestion of a large carbohydrate meal.

Objective: We hypothesized that net whole-body de novo lipogenesis could be larger in women than men, and that glycogen and fat balance could be, respectively, lower and higher, following a large pasta meal ingested after rest or exercise.

Design: The metabolic response to a pasta meal (5 g dry weight/kg body mass) was studied in six men and six women (matched for age and BMI) in the follicular and luteal phases, following rest or exercise (90 min at 50% VO2max). Protein, glucose, and fat oxidation, and net whole-body de novo lipogenesis were computed for 10 h following ingestion of the meal using indirect respiratory calorimetry corrected for urea excretion.

Results: No net whole-body de novo lipogenesis was observed in any group in any situation (postrest and postexercise). When the meal was ingested following exercise, fat oxidation was significantly higher and glucose oxidation was significantly lower (P<0.05) than following the period of rest, and in a given experimental situation, the respective contributions of protein, fat, and glucose oxidation to the energy yield were similar in men and women in both phases of the cycle.

Conclusions: The contribution of substrate oxidation to the energy expenditure as well as fat and glycogen balance, and the effect of a previous exercise period, were similar in men and women in both phases of the cycle following ingestion of the large carbohydrate meal.

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This study was supported by grants from the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and from the Fabricants Français de Pâtes Alimentaires, Groupe d'lntérêt Economique: Alimentation Recherche Nutrition (France).

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Correspondence to F Péronnet.

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Folch, N., Péronnet, F., Massicotte, D. et al. Metabolic response to a large starch meal after rest and exercise: comparison between men and women. Eur J Clin Nutr 57, 1107–1115 (2003).

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  • gender differences
  • insulin
  • calorimetry
  • fat balance
  • menstrual cycle


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