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A diet high in saturated fats results in endothelial dysfunction and can lead to atherosclerosis, a precursor to cardiovascular disease. Exercise training is a potent stimulus though to mitigate the negative effects of a high saturated fat diet; however, it is unclear how high-saturated fat meal (HSFM) consumption impacts blood flow regulation during a single exercise session.

PURPOSE: This study sought to examine the impact of a single HSFM on peripheral vascular function during an acute upper limb exercise bout.

METHODS: Ten young healthy individuals completed two sessions of progressive handgrip exercise. Subjects either consumed a HSFM (0.84 g of fat/kg of body weight) 4 hours prior or remained fasted before the exercise bout. Progressive rhythmic handgrip exercise (6kg, 12kg, 18kg) was performed for 3 minutes per stage at rate of 1 Hz. The brachial artery (BA) diameter and blood velocity was obtained using Doppler Ultrasound (GE Logiq e) and BA blood flow was calculated with these values.

RESULTS: BA blood flow and flow mediated dilation (normalized for shear rate) during the handgrip exercise significant increased from baseline in all workloads, but no differences were revealed in response to the HSFM consumption.

CONCLUSION: Progressive handgrip exercise augmented BA blood flow and flow mediated dilation in both testing days; however, there was no significant differences following the HSFM consumption. This suggests that upper limb blood flow regulation during exercise is unaltered by a high fat meal in young healthy individuals.

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Rehabilitation and Therapy

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VCU Graduate Research Posters

The Effects of a High Fat Meal on Blood Flow Regulation during Arm Exercise