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To assess the influence of dietary fat composition on the contribution of dietary myristic and palmitic acid to total fat oxidation and energy production, eight healthy men consumed diets containing 40% of total energy as fat, largely as either butter, tallow or corn oil, for 11 days. On days 8 and 11 of each diet, [1-13C]-myristic or [1-13C]-palmitic acid (20 mg kg–1 body weight) was ingested mixed with the test breakfast meal. Respiratory gas exchange was measured before, and for 9 h after, consumption of the meal. Breath 13CO2 enrichments were determined hourly by isotope ratio mass spectrometry. Cumulative 9-h percentage oxidation of dietary myristic acid exceeded that of palmitic acid (P < 0.01), but neither was influenced by fat treatment [n = 8, 7.1% (1.0) (SEM), 8.6% (0.9) and 8.9% (0.6) of dietary myristic acid and 3.3% (0.7), 3.0% (0.9), and 2.5% (0.6) of dietary palmitic acid from butter, tallow and corn oil meals respectively]. Net dietary myristic acid oxidation was greater (P <0.05) after consumption of the meal high in butter than after consumption of other fats. Net dietary palmitic acid oxidation was similar after consumption of all test meals. Precedent fat treatment had no measurable effect on net fat or carbohydrate oxidation or energy expenditure. The overall contribution of dietary myristic or palmitic acid to total fat oxidation did not exceed 1% over 9 h for any dietary fat. These results suggest that, although dietary fatty acid content is the principal determinant of net dietary fatty acid oxidation, dietary fat sources with moderate differences in fat composition do not measurably alter total energy or substrate utilization after a meal.