Effects of prandial challenge on triglyceridemia, glycemia, and proinflammatory activity in persons with chronic paraplegia

Dennis Ellenbroek, Jochen Kressler, Rachel E. Cowan, Patricia A. Burns, Armando J. Mendez, Mark S. Nash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Context/Objective: Exaggerated postprandial lipemia has been reported after spinal cord injury (SCI). We examined metabolite and accompanying pro-inflammatory biomarker responses to repeat feeding of typical high-fat meals in individuals with chronic paraplegia. Design: Descriptive trial. Methods: Metabolites (triglycerides, glucose, and insulin) and inflammatory biomarkers (interleukin-6 and highsensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP)) were measured under fasting conditions in 11 recreationally active individuals with chronic (>1 year) paraplegia. Subjects received high-fat meals at time point 0 and again at minute 240. Antecubital venous blood was obtained at time points -30 (fasting), 0 (first meal), 30, 60, 90, 120, 240 (second meal), 360, and 480 minutes. Correlations were examined among the study variables. Exploratory subgroup analysis was performed for subjects with levels of postprandial glucose greater than >200 mg/dl. Results: Triglycerides showed a significant rise 4 hours after eating. Basal inflammatory markers were elevated, and did not undergo additional change during the testing. Additionally, subjects with excessive postprandial glucose responses showed higher hsCRP levels than those having typical glucose responses both for fasting (11.8 ± 6.5 vs. 2.9 ± 2.7 mg/l, P = 0.064) and postprandial (11.1 ± 4.9 vs. 3.7 ± 3.8 mg/l, P = 0.018) values. Conclusions: Despite elevations in metabolic response markers, inflammatory markers did not change significantly after consumption of population-representative (i.e. hypercaloric) mixed-nutrient meals. Levels of fasting CRP in the high-risk range are consistent with other reports in persons with SCI and continue to pose concern for their cardiovascular disease risk. The possible association between postprandial metabolic responses and inflammatory states warrants further investigation to identify individual component risks for this secondary health hazard.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)468-475
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Spinal Cord Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015


  • Feeding
  • Glucose
  • Lipids
  • Meal challenge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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