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Effect of dietary cholesterol on cholesterol content and fatty acid profiles of rat liver and plasma



Effect of dietary cholesterol on cholesterol content and fatty acid profiles of rat liver and plasma



Nutrition Reports International 32(1): 117-128



The lipid composition, including fatty-acid profiles, of plasma and liver from rats fed low and high-cholesterol diets both with and without high levels of saturated or unsaturated fat was examined. As expected cholesterol-supplemented diets raised the cholesterol content of both plasma and liver. Both the free and esterified cholesterol fractions were elevated, but the increase was greater in ester fraction. Feeding cholesterol with sunflower seed oil resulted in the greatest accumulation of cholesterol in the liver. In the plasma of both the high fat-high cholesterol groups of animals, the cholesteraol content was raised to the same extent. The phospholipid content of both plasma and liver remained unaltered under all dietary conditions. Exogenous cholesterol resulted in the accumulation of 16:1, 18:1 and 18:2 acids with a simultaneous decrease in 16:0, 18:0 and 20:4 acids, both in plasma and liver. Theses changes in fatty acid composition were associated to some extent with all the lipid fractions, but the cholesterol esters again exhibited the greatest differences. Dietary cholesterol affects both the cholesterol and the fatty-acid profiles of liver, and that the type of dietary fat fed has pronounced effect on this process. Excess dietary cholesterol appears to alter the metabolism of hepatic fatty acids, producing a rapid conversion of 16:0 and 18:0 acids to 16:1 and 18:1 acids, respectively, together with a block in the conversion of 18:2 to 20:4 acid.

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