Lipids and cardiovascular/metabolic health

Consumption of a high-fat breakfast on consecutive days alters preclinical biomarkers for atherosclerosis



Recent research has speculated that the risk of developing atherosclerosis is due to the accumulation of the effects of daily diet choices. The purpose of this study was to examine which of our previously identified preclinical disease risk biomarkers were further elevated when consuming a high-fat (644±50 kcal; 100% recommended dietary allowance for fat), high-calorie (1118±100 kcal; 70% daily caloric needs) breakfast on consecutive days. Young, normal weight females (N=7) participated in this study.


Blood samples were taken premeal and hourly for 5-h postprandial. Serum biomarkers (C-peptide, eotaxin, gastric inhibitory polypeptide, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), granulocyte-monocyte colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), insulin, leptin, monocyte chemoattractant protein 1, pancreatic polypeptide (PPY) and tumor necrosis factor-α), monocyte concentration, and adhesion molecule expression (CD11a, CD18 and CD54) were measured. Area under the curve was calculated for each outcome variable as a function of day and data were analyzed for significance.


We found significant (P<0.05) increases on Day 2 for: GM-CSF (+47%; P=0.041), G-CSF (+31%; P=0.012), PPY (+51%; P=0.049), total monocyte (+110%; P=0.043), pro-inflammatory (PI) monocyte (+60%; P=0.012), PI monocyte CD18 (+960%; P=0.003), PI monocyte CD11a (+230%; P=0.006), and PI monocyte CD54 (+208%; P=0.015).


To our knowledge, the present study is the first to report changes in selected biomarkers and monocytes following eating a high-fat, high-calorie breakfast on consecutive days in humans. More research is needed to determine how transient the observed changes are and what the long-term implications for disease risk are.

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This project was funded in part by grant to Dr McFarlin from the University of North Texas (RIG Program) and a TACSM Student Research Development Grant (SRDA) to Dr Carpenter. We also thank Ms Jill Best Sampson (calculation of AUC values for the biomarker responses) and Dr Erin Bowman (editorial advice) for their assistance with the present study.

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Correspondence to B K McFarlin.

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McFarlin, B., Carpenter, K., Henning, A. et al. Consumption of a high-fat breakfast on consecutive days alters preclinical biomarkers for atherosclerosis. Eur J Clin Nutr 71, 239–244 (2017).

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