Canadian Journal of Cardiology

390 Does the Adherence to a Mediterranean Diet Influence Baseline and Postprandial Endothelial Function?


      Endothelial dysfunction is considered a precursor of atherosclerosis and is an independent predictor of cardiovascular events. A high-saturated fat meal (HFM) has been shown to induce postprandial endothelial dysfunction. Adherence to the Mediterranean diet has been linked to improved endothelial function and was associated to lower inflammatory profile. Recently, we found that a single mixed Mediterranean-type meal (MMM) had neutral postprandial endothelial impact. To our knowledge, the influence of dietary habits on postprandial endothelial response has yet to be determined.


      This substudy sought to assess the influence of background dietary habits on postprandial endothelial response to both HFM and MMM.


      This is a substudy of the FATT trial that compared the effect of a HFM and a MMM on postprandial endothelial function in 28 healthy non-smoking males aged between 18 and 50 years. The MMM consisted of fresh salmon, almonds and vegetables baked in olive oil providing 51% of total calories from fat (7.87g SFA and 2.29g of omega-3, 2:1 DHA:EPA). The HFM consisted of a McDonald's sausage, egg and cheese McMuffin and three hashbrowns providing 58% of total energy from fat (14.78g SFA and no omega-3). Endothelial function was evaluated by brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD) after a 12-hour fast (T0) and at two (T2) and four (T4) hours after consumption of the test meals. Dietary assessment: A 14-item semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) was used to assess dietary habits. This FFQ was developed to provide a global dietary score reflecting coronary heart disease risk, an estimated Ω-6/Ω-3 ratio and scores of intake for saturated fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids, Ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and fruits and vegetables.


      No correlations were found between global dietary score as assessed by the FFQ and postprandial endothelial response to either meal. The saturated fatty acid score (r = 0.40, p ≤ 0.01) and Ω-6/Ω-3 ratio (r = 0.35, p ≤ 0.05) derived from the FFQ correlated positively with baseline endothelial function. Higher intake of PUFA Ω-6 tended to impair postprandial endothelial response to a MMM but not to a HFM .


      Background dietary habits do not appear to influence postprandial endothelial response to a HFM and a MMM in a population of healthy men.