Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Research article

Assessment of inflammatory resilience in healthy subjects using dietary lipid and glucose challenges

Suzan Wopereis2, Danielle Wolvers1, Marjan van Erk2, Michiel Gribnau1, Bas Kremer2, Ferdi A van Dorsten13, Esther Boelsma2, Ursula Garczarek1, Nicole Cnubben2, Leon Frenken1, Paul van der Logt1, Henk FJ Hendriks2, Ruud Albers145, John van Duynhoven135, Ben van Ommen2 and Doris M Jacobs13*

Author Affiliations

1 Unilever R&D, Olivier van Noortlaan 120, Vlaardingen 3130 AC, The Netherlands

2 TNO, Utrechtseweg 48, Zeist 3704 HE, The Netherlands

3 Netherlands Metabolomics Centre, Einsteinweg 55, 2333 CL, Leiden, The Netherlands

4 NutriLeads Innovations, Pancrasgorsedijk 7, Rockanje 3235 KT, The Netherlands

5 Wageningen University, Dreijenlaan 3, Wageningen 6703 HA, The Netherlands

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BMC Medical Genomics 2013, 6:44  doi:10.1186/1755-8794-6-44

Published: 27 October 2013



Resilience or the ability of our body to cope with daily-life challenges has been proposed as a new definition of health, with restoration of homeostasis as target resultant of various physiological stress responses. Challenge models may thus be a sensitive measure to study the body’s health. The objective of this study was to select a dietary challenge model for the assessment of inflammatory resilience. Meals are a challenge to metabolic homeostasis and are suggested to affect inflammatory pathways, yet data in literature are limited and inconsistent.


The kinetic responses of three different dietary challenges and a water control challenge were assessed on various metabolic and inflammatory markers in 14 healthy males and females using a full cross-over study design. The dietary challenges included glucose (75 g glucose in 300 ml water), lipids (200 ml whipping cream) and a mix of glucose and lipids (same amounts as above), respectively. Blood samples were collected at baseline and at 0.5, 1, 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 h after consumption of the treatment products. Inflammation (IFNγ, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12p70, TNF-α CRP, ICAM-1, VCAM-1, SAA, E-selectin, P-selectin, thrombomodulin, leukocytes, neutrophils, lymphocytes) and clinical (e.g. glucose, insulin, triglycerides) markers as well as gene expression in blood cells and plasma oxylipin profiles were measured.


All three dietary challenges induced changes related to metabolic control such as increases in glucose and insulin after the glucose challenge and increases in triglycerides after the lipid challenge. In addition, differences between the challenges were observed for precursor oxylipins and some downstream metabolites including DiHETrE’s and HODE’s. However, none of the dietary challenges induced an acute inflammatory response, except for a modest increase in circulating leukocyte numbers after the glucose and mix challenges. Furthermore, subtle, yet statistically significant increases in vascular inflammatory markers (sICAM-1 and sVCAM-1) were found after the mix challenge, when compared to the water control challenge.


This study shows that dietary glucose and lipid challenges did not induce a strong acute inflammatory response in healthy subjects, as quantified by an accurate and broad panel of parameters.

OGTT; OLTT; Challenge test; Inflammation; Resilience; Oxylipins; Lipid; Glucose