*Geek Box: Postprandial Metabolism
‘Post-prandial’ refers to the period after eating a meal. Therefore, ‘post-prandial glycaemia’ refers to blood glucose levels after a meal, while ‘post-prandial lipaemia’ refers to blood fat [lipid] levels after a meal. Post-prandial responses to food intake have been recognised since the 1950’s as a factor influencing metabolic health. As early as 1979, dietary influences on cardiovascular disease were described as a “post-prandial phenomenon”. Recently, there is an increasing focus on post-prandial metabolism. Most assessments of health use fasted samples, for example fasted blood glucose or triglycerides. However, many people spend over 12hrs a day, and Satchin Panda’s research has suggested up to 15hrs a day, in a post-prandial state. This means fasted samples may only reflect a small snapshot of the overall day, and may not capture how well individuals respond to meals over the course of the day. Post-prandial glucose and lipid levels may provide a more refined risk assessment for cardiovascular disease, and diabetes progression. What is emerging is the the post-prandial period is a crucial factor influencing metabolic health.