Published online by Cambridge University Press: 09 March 2007
Delayed peak response of plasma retinyl esters (RE) relative to plasma triacylglycerols (TAG) and apolipoprotein (Apo) B-48 responses following a fat load supplemented with vitamin A raised doubts about the use of vitamin A to label dietary-derived lipids and lipoproteins. The present study compared the use of water-miscible and oil-soluble retinyl palmitate (RP) as markers of dietary-derived lipoproteins in healthy subjects along with the measurements of postprandial plasma TAG and ApoB-48 responses to investigate whether the delayed peak response observed was due to delayed intestinal output of RE from oil-based solutions. Nine healthy female subjects were given a standard test meal containing a dose (112 mg) of RP in either water-miscible or oil-soluble form in random order, on two separate occasions after a 12 h overnight fast. The results showed that the mean plasma RE concentrations reached a peak significantly later than mean plasma TAG and ApoB-48 concentrations when oil-soluble RP was consumed, whereas plasma RE peaked earlier relative to plasma TAG and ApoB-48 responses when water-miscible RP was used. The results suggested a more rapid absorption with a significantly higher and earlier peak response of plasma RE when water-miscible RP was consumed. This was in contrast to the delayed initial appearance and later sustained higher concentrations of plasma RE during the late postprandial period when oil-soluble RP was consumed. The RE response to the water-miscible RP showed better concordance with plasma TAG response than that of oil-soluble RP.