Postprandial Response Project
High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol has been a staple measure of cardiovascular health for decades. The higher the plasma HDL cholesterol, the lower the risk of heart disease. Low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, on the other hand, is associated with increased risk of heart disease. These associations hold for measurements of LDL and HDL cholesterol in the fasted state, or the period when no food is being consumed. Studies have shown that diet and lifestyle profoundly influence heart disease risk, with estimates as high as 80% of heart disease risk being attributable to these modifiable risk factors. However, unlike fasting LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol, which can be reduced by a number of dietary changes including decreased saturated fat intake, fasting HDL cholesterol concentrations seem to be recalcitrant to dietary and lifestyle interventions. The assessment of fasting concentrations may not be capable of detecting the dynamic changes to these lipoprotein particles that occur postprandially, in response to meals. The goal of the Postprandial Response project is to investigate the dynamic responses to dietary challenges in HDL composition and function in order to develop novel dietary treatments that can increase the plasma concentrations of these protective particles.