Amounts and types of fatty acids in meals affect the pattern of retinoids secreted in human chylomicrons after a high-dose preformed vitamin A intake


Sauvant P, et al






High doses of preformed vitamin A are commonly used to correct vitamin A deficiency. Newly absorbed vitamin A is secreted mainly as retinyl esters in chylomicrons. The effect of changing types and amounts of fatty acids on fatty acid composition of chylomicron retinoid esters when a high dose of vitamin A is ingested have not been studied previously. In the present study, 10 healthy young men ingested, in a random order, mixed meals containing 15,000 retinol equivalents (RE) of vitamin A (as retinyl palmitate) and either no fat or 40 g of fat provided as butter, olive oil, or sunflower oil. Fasting and postprandial blood samples were obtained for 7 hours after meals. Free retinol and the main retinyl esters (retinyl palmitate/oleate, stearate, and linoleate) were measured in chylomicrons by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Chylomicron retinyl palmitate/oleate and retinyl stearate concentrations significantly increased after intake of the 4 test meals. Conversely, chylomicron retinyl linoleate and chylomicron free retinol significantly increased only after the sunflower and the fat-free meals, respectively. The main retinoid secreted in chylomicrons after the intake of the fat-rich meals was retinyl palmitate/oleate, accounting for 63% to 79% of total RE, but it was free retinol after the fat-free meal (51% of total RE). Thus, the retinoid pattern secreted in chylomicrons after the intake of a high dose of preformed vitamin A depends on type and amounts of fatty acids ingested. To explain this result we suggest that the esterification process of retinol in the enterocyte by lecithin:retinol acyltransferase can be overwhelmed by a high load of vitamin A. Consequently, a significant proportion of the retinol is esterified by acyl coenzyme A:retinol acyltransferase (ARAT) with ingested fatty acids, explaining the appearance of retinyl linoleate in chylomicrons after the sunflower oil meal. If a high dose of preformed vitamin A is ingested with a fat-free meal, a significant proportion of retinol is not esterified, owing to the lack of fatty acids for ARAT, which explains the appearance of free retinol in chylomicrons. Copyright 2003 Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.