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Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 902065, 16 pages
Review Article

Exercise and Dietary-Mediated Reductions in Postprandial Lipemia

Department of Human Studies, Exercise and Nutritional Physiology Laboratory, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA

Received 21 March 2014; Revised 3 June 2014; Accepted 9 June 2014; Published 29 June 2014

Academic Editor: C. S. Johnston

Copyright © 2014 Eric P. Plaisance and Gordon Fisher. 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 hyperlipemia produces long-term derangements in lipid/lipoprotein metabolism, vascular endothelial dysfunction, hypercoagulability, and sympathetic hyperactivity which are strongly linked to atherogenesis. The purpose of this review is to (1) provide a qualitative analysis of the available literature examining the dysregulation of postprandial lipid metabolism in the presence of obesity, (2) inspect the role of adiposity distribution and sex on postprandial lipid metabolism, and (3) examine the role of energy deficit (exercise- and/or energy restriction-mediated), isoenergetic low-carbohydrate diets, and omega-3 (n-3) fatty acid supplementation on postprandial lipid metabolism. We conclude from the literature that central adiposity primarily accounts for sex-related differences in postprandial lipemia and that aerobic exercise attenuates this response in obese or lean men and women to a similar extent through potentially unique mechanisms. In contrast, energy restriction produces only mild reductions in postprandial lipemia suggesting that exercise may be superior to energy restriction alone as a strategy for lowering postprandial lipemia. However, isoenergetic very low-carbohydrate diets and n-3 fatty acid supplementation reduce postprandial lipemia indicating that macronutrient manipulations reduce postprandial lipemia in the absence of energy restriction. Therefore, interactions between exercise/energy restriction and alterations in macronutrient content remain top priorities for the field to identify optimal behavioral treatments to reduce postprandial lipemia.