The Effect of Partly Replacing Vegetable Fat with Bovine Milk Fat in Infant Formula on Postprandial Lipid and Energy Metabolism: A Proof-of-principle Study in Healthy Young Male Adults

Jeske H J Hageman, Balázs Erdõs, Jaap Keijer, Michiel Adriaens, Britt de Wit, Barbora Stañková, Eva Tvrzická, Ilja C W Arts, Arie G Nieuwenhuizen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


SCOPE: Infant formula (IF) uses besides vegetable fats also bovine milk fat, which differs in triacylglycerol (TAG) structure. Furthermore, it differs in fatty acid (FA) composition. Whether changing fat source in IF affects postprandial energy metabolism, lipemic response, and blood lipid profile is unknown.

METHODS AND RESULTS: A proof-of-principle study, with a randomized controlled double-blind cross-over design, is conducted. Twenty healthy male adults consumed drinks with either 100% vegetable fat (VEG) or 67% bovine milk fat and 33% vegetable fat (BOV), on 2 separate days. For a detailed insight in the postprandial responses, indirect calorimetry is performed continuously, and venous blood samples are taken every 30 min, until 5 h postprandially. No differences in postprandial energy metabolism, serum lipids, lipoprotein, or chylomicron concentrations are observed between drinks. After consumption of VEG-drink, C18:2n-6 in serum increased. Observed differences in chylomicron FA profile reflect differences in initial FA profile of test drinks. Serum ketone bodies concentrations increase following consumption of BOV-drink.

CONCLUSIONS: The use of bovine milk fat in IF does neither affect postprandial energy metabolism nor lipemic response in healthy adults, but alters postprandial FA profiles and ketone metabolism. Whether the exact same effects occur in infants requires experimental verification.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2000848
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular Nutrition & Food Research
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


  • bovine milk fat
  • chylomicrons
  • infant formula
  • metabolism
  • lipidomics

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