Elevated systemic levels of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins (TRL) are a risk factor for the development of atherosclerosis. In patients with metabolic syndrome (MetS), intestinal TRL overproduction contributes to high systemic TRL levels, and recent studies suggest that systemic changes in MetS such as increases in plasma fatty acids and insulin resistance stimulate intestinal TRL production. The current study has examined whether increases in systemic TRL influence intestinal lipid transport and lipoprotein assembly pathways and evaluates the impact of these changes on the absorption and lymphatic transport of lipids and a model lipophilic drug (halofantrine). Mesenteric lymph-duct or bile-duct cannulated rats were administered IV saline or 14C-labeled chylomicron (CM) (to increase systemic TRL) and intraduodenal 3H lipids and drug. Changes to biliary lipid output and lymphatic lipid and drug transport were subsequently examined. Increasing systemic TRL concentrations stimulated a significant increase in lymphatic lipid and drug transport. The increased lipids in lymph were not derived from bile or the intestinal blood supply (fatty acid or IV infused 14C-CM). Rather, an increase in lymphatic transport of duodenally sourced lipids was evident. Increasing plasma levels of TRL therefore stimulated lipid absorption and lymphatic transport via a positive feedback process. The data also suggest that the changes to intestinal TRL formation that result from raised systemic TRL levels may impact on the absorption of highly lipophilic drugs and therefore the reproducibility of drug treatments.