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7.4C: Metabolic Conditions - Ornish/Pritikin Diet

In this condition, assume a person is on the Ornish/Pritikin diet and just consumed a meal containing carbohydrates, with minimal but adequate amount of protein and no fat. As a result, this person is in an anabolic state with high blood glucose levels, meaning the pancreas will secrete insulin.

The liver will take up glucose and synthesize glycogen until its stores are filled. After these stores are full, glucose can be broken down through glycolysis to pyruvate, then form acetyl-CoA in the transition reaction. Because we are in the fed or anabolic state, acetyl-CoA will be used for fatty acid synthesis, and the fatty acids will be used for triglyceride synthesis. However, evidence suggests that this de novo lipogenesis pathway does not occur to any great extent in humans1. These triglycerides will be packaged into VLDL and secreted from the liver. Amino acids will also be taken up and used for protein synthesis as needed. Because there is plenty of glucose, gluconeogenesis and ketone body synthesis will not be operating to any great extent.

The muscle will take up glucose and synthesize glycogen until those stores are filled. Some glucose will go through glycolysis to produce pyruvate, then form acetyl-CoA in the transition reaction. The acetyl-CoA will enter the citric acid cycle, and NADH and FADH2 produced will enter the electron transport chain to generate ATP. Fatty acids that are cleaved from VLDL, IDL, and LDL are also going to be taken up. These fatty acids will be used to synthesize triglycerides for storage. Whatever amino acids are taken up will be used for protein synthesis. The muscle will not be secreting anything in this condition.

The adipose is going to take up glucose that will enter glycolysis, where pyruvate will be produced, then acetyl-CoA will be produced in the transition reaction. Because we are in the fed or anabolic state, the acetyl-CoA will be used for fatty acid synthesis, and the fatty acids will be used for triglyceride synthesis. However, evidence suggests that de novo lipogenesis does not occur to any great extent in humans1. Fatty acids that are cleaved from VLDL, IDL, and LDL are going to be taken up and primarily used to synthesize triglycerides for storage. The adipose won’t be secreting anything under this condition.

The brain will have plenty of glucose available for its use, so it is not going to have to use ketone bodies like it would during fasting and during prolonged Atkins diet consumption.

References & Links

  1.  McDevitt RM, Bott SJ, Harding M, Coward WA, Bluck LJ, et al. (2001) De novo lipogenesis during controlled overfeeding with sucrose or glucose in lean and obese women. Am J Clin Nutr 74(6): 737-746.