European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 98, Issue 3, pp 256–262 | Cite as

The effect of acute exercise on endothelial function following a high-fat meal

  • Jaume PadillaEmail author
  • Ryan A. Harris
  • Alyce D. Fly
  • Lawrence D. Rink
  • Janet P. Wallace
Original Article


The transient impairment of endothelial function following a high-fat meal is well established. Brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD) decreases between 2 and 6 h post ingestion. Whether this impairment can be reduced with acute aerobic exercise has not been investigated. The purpose of this study was to investigate if a single sustained aerobic exercise session can counteract the postprandial attenuation in brachial artery FMD associated with the ingestion of a high-fat meal. Eight apparently healthy adults (five men, three women), age 25.5 ± 0.8 years, performed three treatment conditions in a counter-balanced design: (1) low-fat meal alone (LFM), (2) high-fat meal alone (HFM), and (3) one session of aerobic exercise presented 2 h after ingesting a high-fat meal (HFM-EX). The examination of brachial artery FMD was performed at baseline and 4 h following the ingestion of the meal for each treatment condition. A 3 × 2 (treatment × time) repeated measures ANOVA exhibited a significant interaction (= 0.019). Preprandial FMDs were similar (= 0.863) among all three treatment conditions. The FMDs following the LFM (7.18 ± 1.31%) and HFM-EX (8.72 ± 0.94%) were significantly higher (= 0.001) than the FMD following the HFM (4.29 ± 1.64%). FMD was significantly elevated above preprandial values following the HFM-EX (5.61 ± 1.54 to 8.72 ± 0.94%, = 0.005) but was unchanged following the LFM (6.17 ± 0.94 to 7.18 ± 1.31%, = 0.317) and the HFM (5.73 ± 1.23 to 4.29 ± 1.64%, = 0.160). These findings suggest that a single aerobic exercise session cannot only counteract the postprandial endothelial dysfunction induced by the ingestion of a high-fat meal, but also increase brachial artery FMD in apparently healthy adults.


Aerobic exercise High-fat diet Postprandial endothelial dysfunction Flow-mediated dilation 



This research was supported by the Clinical Exercise Physiology Laboratory and Nutrition Sciences Laboratory at Indiana University. J. Padilla is sponsored by a fellowship from the Ministerio de Educación y Cultura de España.


  1. American College of Sports Medicine (2005) ACSM’s guidlines for exercise testing and prescription, 7th edn. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, PhiladelphiaGoogle Scholar
  2. Anderson RA, Jones CJH, Goodfellow J (2001) Is the fat meal a trigger for acute coronary syndromes? Atherosclerosis 159:9–15PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bae JH, Bassinge E, Kim KB, Kim YN, Kim KS, Lee HJ, Moon KC, Lee MS, Park KY, Schewemmer M (2001) Postprandial hypertriglyceridemia impairs endothelial function by enhanced oxidant stress. Atherosclerosis 155:517–523PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Borg GA (1973) Perceived exertion: a note on “history” and methods. Med Sci Sports 5:90–93PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Celermajer DS, Sorensen KE, Gooch VM (1992) Non-invasive detection of endothelial dysfunction in children and adults at risk of atherosclerosis. Lancet 340:1111–1115PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Corretti MC, Anderson TJ, Benjamin EJ, Celermajer D, Charbonneau F, Creager MA, Deanfield J, Drexler H, Gehard-Herman M, Herrington D, Vallance P, Vita J, Vogel R (2002) Guidelines for the ultrasound assessment of endothelial-dependent flow-mediated vasodilation of the brachial artery. J Am Coll Cardiol 39:257–265PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cuevas AM, Guasch V, Castillo O, Irribarra V, Mizon C, San Martin A, Strobel P, Perez D, Germain AM, Leighton F (2000) A high-fat diet induces and red wine counteracts endothelial dysfunction in human volunteers. Lipids 35:143–148PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Devaraj S, Jialal I (1996) Oxidized low-density lipoprotein and atherosclerosis. Int J Clin Lab Res 26:178–184PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Gaenzer H, Sturm W, Neumayr G, kirchmair R, Ebenbichler C, Ritsch A, Foger B, Weiss G, Patsch JR (2001) Pronounced postprandial lipemia impairs endothelium-dependent dilation of the brachial artery in men. Cardiovasc Res 52:509–516PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gill JMR, Al-Mamari A, Ferrell WR, Cleland SL, Packard CJ, Sattar N, Petrie JR, Caslake MJ (2004) Effects of prior moderate exercise on postprandial metabolism and vascular function in lean and centrally obese men. J Am Coll Cardiol 44:2375–2382PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Harris RA, Padilla J, Rink LD, Wallace JP (2006) Variability of flow-mediated dilation measurements with repetitive reactive hyperemia. Vasc Med 11:1–6PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Harvey PJ, Beverley LM, Kubo T, Picton PE, Su WS, Catherine FN, Floras JS (2005) Hemodynamic after-effects of acute dynamic exercise in sedentary normotensive postmenopausal women. J Hypertens 23:285–292PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Ji LL (2002) Exercise-induced modulation of antioxidant defense. Ann N Y Acad Sci 959:82–92PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Jungersten L, Ambring A, Wall B, Wennmalm A (1997) Both physical fitness and acute exercise regulate nitric oxide formation in healthy humans. J Appl Physiol 82:760–764PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Katsanos CS, Moffatt RJ (2004) Acute effects of premeal versus postmeal exercise on postprandial hypertriglyceridemia. Clin J Sport Med 14:33–39PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Meilhac O, Ramachandran S, Chiang K, Santanam N, Parthasarathy S (2001) Role of arterial wall antioxidant defense in beneficial effects of exercise on atherosclerosis in mice. Artherioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 21:1681–1688CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Padilla J, Harris RA, Fly DA, Rink LD, Wallace JP (2006) A comparison between active- and reactive-hyperaemia-induced brachial artery vasodilation. Clin Sci 110:387–392PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Plotnick GD, Corretti MC, Vogel RA (1997) Effect of antioxidant vitamins on the transient impairment of endothelium-dependent brachial artery vasoactivity following a single high-fat meal. JAMA 278:1682–1686PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ross R (1999) Atherosclerosis—an inflammatory disease. N Engl J Med 340:115–128PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Sies H, Stahl W, Sevanian A (2005) Nutritional, dietary and postprandial oxidative stress. J Nutr 135:969–972PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Steensberg A, Hall GV, Osada T, Sacchetti M, Saltin B, Pedersen BK (2000) Production of interleukin-6 in contracting human skeletal muscles can account for the exercise-induced increase in plasma interleukin-6. J Physiol 537:237–242CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Tsai W, Li Y, LIn C, Chao T, Chen J (2004) Effects of oxidative stress on endothelial function after a high-fat meal. Clin Sci 106:315–319PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Verma S, Buchanan MR, Anderson TJ (2003) Endothelial function testing as a biomarker of vascular disease. Circulation 108:2054–2059PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Vogel RA, Corretti MC, Plotnick GD (1997) Effect of a single high-fat meal on endothelial function in healthy subjects. Am J Cardiol 79:350–354PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Vollaard NBJ, Shearman JP, Cooper CE (2005) Exercise-induced oxidative stress. Myths, realities and physiological relevance. Sports Med 35:1045–1062PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Walther C, Gielen S, Hambrecht R (2004) The effect of exercise training on endothelial function in cardiovascular disease in humans. Exerc Sport Sci Rev 32:129–134PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Zhao T, Bokoch GM (2005) Critical role of proline-rish tyrosine kinase 2 in reversion of the adhesion mediated suppression of reactive oxygen species generaion by human neurophils. J Immun 174:8049–8055PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jaume Padilla
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ryan A. Harris
    • 1
  • Alyce D. Fly
    • 2
  • Lawrence D. Rink
    • 3
  • Janet P. Wallace
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Kinesiology, Clinical Exercise Physiology LaboratoryIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Applied Health Science, Nutrition Sciences LaboratoryIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  3. 3.School of MedicineIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA

Personalised recommendations