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This study reports a novel protocol to increase plasma monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and saturated nonesterified fatty acids (NEFA) in eight healthy volunteers (age 29-54 yr, body mass index 23-26 kg/m(2)). This was achieved by feeding small boluses of fat at different time points (35 g at 0 min and 8 g at 30, 60, 90, 120, 150, 180, and 210 min) in combination with a continuous low-dose heparin infusion. Olive oil, safflower oil, or palm stearin were used to increase monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, or saturated NEFAs, respectively. Plasma NEFA concentrations were increased for 2 h, when fat and heparin were given (olive oil: 745 +/- 35 micromol/l; safflower oil: 609 +/- 37 micromol/l, and palm stearin: 773 +/- 38 micromol/l) compared with the control test (no fat and no heparin: 445 +/- 41 micromol/l). During the heparin infusion, 18:1 n-9 was the most abundant fatty acid for the olive oil test compared with 18:2 n-6 for the safflower oil test and 16:0 for the palm stearin test (P < 0.01). The method described here successfully increases several types of plasma NEFA concentrations and could be used to investigate differential effects of elevated individual NEFAs on metabolic processes.

Original publication




Journal article


Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab

Publication Date





E18 - E24


Adult, Dietary Fats, Fatty Acids, Monounsaturated, Fatty Acids, Nonesterified, Female, Heparin, Humans, Lipolysis, Lipoprotein Lipase, Male, Middle Aged, Olive Oil, Palm Oil, Plant Oils, Safflower Oil, Time Factors, Triglycerides