Drinking just one high-fat milkshake made with whole milk, heavy whipping cream, and ice cream – with a fat and calorie count similar to unhealthy restaurant meals – can wreak havoc on blood cells and vessels and trigger an immune system response, according to a small study from the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University.
After study participants – 10 healthy young men – drank a high-fat, high-calorie milkshake, researchers observed significant changes in the shape and size of their red blood cells and detected increased levels of a substance called myeloperoxidase (MPO), which has been linked to blood vessel stiffness and heart attack risk. They also observed changes white blood cells and plasma.
According to the researchers, these unhealthy changes were probably temporary in the study participants, but their research could explain isolated reports of heart attack and death after a high-fat meal. This study was published in Laboratory Investigation.