Chylomicrons: A Key Biomarker and Risk Factor for Cardiovascular Disease and for the Understanding of Obesity
- First Online:
- Cite this article as:
- Klop, B. & Castro Cabezas, M. Curr Cardiovasc Risk Rep (2012) 6: 27. doi:10.1007/s12170-011-0215-z
Cardiovascular disease can be considered a condition of chronic low-grade inflammation. Postprandial hyperlipidemia and obesity can both exacerbate inflammatory processes. Postprandial lipemia stimulates the activation of leukocytes, the production of chemokines, and activation of the complement system. Obesity is also associated with postprandial hyperlipidemia by hepatic overproduction of very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) and consequently delayed clearance of intestinally derived chylomicrons due to competition for the same metabolic pathways. Insulin resistance is one of the key elements leading to hepatic VLDL overproduction and is also a key factor in the generation of inflammation. These metabolic derangements cause accumulation of atherogenic remnant lipoproteins, which is also a proatherogenic mechanism. Change in lifestyle is the most important therapeutic strategy to stop this vicious circle of postprandial hyperlipidemia, obesity, inflammation, insulin resistance, and cardiovascular disease.