Regional glycerol and free fatty acid metabolism before and after meal ingestion

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39 Scopus citations


We measured splanchnic and leg glycerol [and free fatty acid (FFA)] uptake and release in 11 healthy volunteers before and after meal ingestion to assess whether regional FFA-to-glycerol release ratios mirror systemic release ratios. Basal splanchnic triglyceride release was also assessed. Although basal splanchnic glycerol uptake (111 ± 18 μmol/min) accounted for most of systemic glycerol rate of appearance (156 ± 20 μmol/min), leg glycerol uptake was also noted. The basal, systemic FFA-to-glycerol release ratio was less (2.6 ± 0.2, P 0.05) than the splanchnic ratio of 6.1 ± 1.3, and the leg FFA-to-glycerol release ratio under fed conditions was less than the systemic ratio (0.9 ± 0.1 os. 1.6 ± 0.2, respectively, P < 0.05). Basal splanchnic triglyceride production rates were 74 ± 20 μmol/min, which could produce equimolar amounts of glycerol in the peripheral circulation via lipoprotein lipase action. In summary, 1) regional FFA-to-glycerol release ratios do not mirror systemic ratios, 2) leg glycerol uptake occurs in humans, and 3) splanchnic triglyceride production rates are substantial relative to systemic glycerol appearance. Glycerol appearance rates may not be a quantitative index of whole body lipolysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E863-E869
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number5 39-5
StatePublished - May 1999


  • Blood flow
  • Isotopic tracers
  • Lipolysis
  • Oleate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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