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International Journal of Vascular Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 947417, 11 pages
Review Article

Understanding Postprandial Inflammation and Its Relationship to Lifestyle Behaviour and Metabolic Diseases

1Department of Internal Medicine, Center for Diabetes and Vascular Medicine, Sint Franciscus Gasthuis, 3004 BA Rotterdam, The Netherlands
2Metabolic and Cardiovascular Diseases Lab, Molecular Cell Biology of Lipids Group, Alberta Diabetes and Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institutes, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, T6g 2R3, Canada
3Faculty of Health Sciences, Curtin University, Perth and Sydney, WA 6102, Australia
4Department Of Veterinary Basic Sciences, The Royal Veterinary College, London NW1 0TU, UK

Received 23 June 2011; Accepted 29 July 2011

Academic Editor: Karlheinz Peter

Copyright © 2012 Boudewijn Klop et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Postprandial hyperlipidemia with accumulation of remnant lipoproteins is a common metabolic disturbance associated with atherosclerosis and vascular dysfunction, particularly during chronic disease states such as obesity, the metabolic syndrome and, diabetes. Remnant lipoproteins become attached to the vascular wall, where they can penetrate intact endothelium causing foam cell formation. Postprandial remnant lipoproteins can activate circulating leukocytes, upregulate the expression of endothelial adhesion molecules, facilitate adhesion and migration of inflammatory cells into the subendothelial space, and activate the complement system. Since humans are postprandial most of the day, the continuous generation of remnants after each meal may be one of the triggers for the development of atherosclerosis. Modulation of postprandial lipemia by lifestyle changes and pharmacological interventions could result in a further decrease of cardiovascular mortality and morbidity. This paper will provide an update on current concepts concerning the relationship between postprandial lipemia, inflammation, vascular function, and therapeutic options.