High-throughput LC-MS method to investigate postprandial lipemia: Considerations for future precision nutrition research

Justine M. Mucinski, Jennifer E. Vena, Maria A. Ramos-Roman, Michael E. Lassman, Magdalene Szuszkiewicz-Garcia, David G. McLaren, Stephen F. Previs, Sudha S. Shankar, Elizabeth J. Parks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Elevated postprandial lipemia is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease, yet methods to quantitate postmeal handling of dietary lipids in humans are limited. This study tested a new method to track dietary lipid appearance using a stable isotope tracer (2H11-oleate) in liquid meals containing three levels of fat [low fat (LF), 15 g; moderate fat (MF), 30 g; high fat (HF), 60 g]. Meals were fed to 12 healthy men [means ± SD, age 31.3 ± 9.2 yr, body mass index (BMI) 24.5 ± 1.9 kg/m2] during four randomized study visits; the HF meal was administered twice for reproducibility. Blood was collected over 8 h postprandially, triglyceride (TG)-rich lipoproteins (TRL), and particles with a Svedberg flotation rate >400 (Sf > 400, n = 8) were isolated by ultracentrifugation, and labeling of two TG species (54:3 and 52:2) was quantified by LC-MS. Total plasma TRL-TG concentrations were threefold greater than Sf > 400-TG. Both Sf > 400- and TRL-TG 54:3 were present at higher concentrations than 52:2, and singly labeled TG concentrations were higher than doubly labeled. Furthermore, TG 54:3 and the singly labeled molecules demonstrated higher plasma absolute entry rates differing significantly across fat levels within a single TG species (P < 0.01). Calculation of fractional entry showed no significant differences in label handling supporting the utility of either TG species for appearance rate calculations. These data demonstrate the utility of labeling research meals with stable isotopes to investigate human postprandial lipemia while simultaneously highlighting the importance of examining individual responses. Meal type and timing, control of prestudy activities, and effects of sex on outcomes should match the research goals. The method, optimized here, will be beneficial to conduct basic science research in precision nutrition and clinical drug development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E702-E715
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2021


  • Dietary lipids
  • Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry
  • Precision nutrition
  • Stable isotope tracers
  • Triglycerides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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