Impact of liver fat on the differential partitioning of hepatic triacylglycerol into VLDL subclasses on high and low sugar diets.

02 Feb 2018

Dietary sugars are linked to the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and dyslipidaemia, but it is unknown if NAFLD itself influences the effects of sugars on plasma lipoproteins. To study this further, men with NAFLD (n=11) and low liver fat 'controls' (n= 14) were fed two iso-energetic diets, high or low in sugars (26% or 6% total energy) for 12 weeks, in a randomised, cross-over design. Fasting plasma lipid and lipoprotein kinetics were measured after each diet by stable isotope trace-labelling. There were significant differences in the production and catabolic rates of VLDL subclasses between men with NAFLD and controls, in response to the high and low sugar diets. Men with NAFLD had higher plasma concentrations of VLDL1-triacylglycerol (TAG) after the high ( P <0.02) and low sugar ( P <0.0002) diets, a lower VLDL1-TAG fractional catabolic rate after the high sugar diet ( P <0.01), and a higher VLDL1-TAG production rate after the low sugar diet ( P <0.01), relative to controls. An effect of the high sugar diet, was to channel hepatic TAG into a higher production of VLDL1-TAG ( P <0.02) in the controls, but in contrast, a higher production of VLDL2-TAG ( P <0.05) in NAFLD. These dietary effects on VLDL subclass kinetics could be explained, in part, by differences in the contribution of fatty acids from intra-hepatic stores, and de novo lipogenesis. This study provides new evidence that liver fat accumulation leads to a differential partitioning of hepatic TAG into large and small VLDL subclasses, in response to high and low intakes of sugars.