Effects of Dietary Calcium on Blood and Tissue Lipids, Tissue Phospholipids, Calcium and Magnesium Levels in Rabbits Fed Diets Containing Beef Tallow

Dougherty, R.M.; Iacono, J.M.

The Journal of Nutrition 109(11): 1934-1945


DOI: 10.1093/jn/109.11.1934
Accession: 067438564

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Levels of lipids, calcium and magnesium in blood and tissue were examined in rabbits to determine the effects of 20% beef tallow diets containing three levels of calcium, less than 0.02, 0.8 or 1.6%. In plasma, the calcium-deficient (less than 0.02%) diet contributed to elevated cholesterol and phospholipid, but had no effect on triglyceride levels. Plasma calcium decreased in the calcium-deficient group and plasma magnesium decreased in the high-calcium (1.6%) group of rabbits. Lipid levels of some tissues varied with the level of dietary calcium. Cholesterol, total phospholipid, sphingomyelin and phosphatidylethanolamine were generally elevated in livers of calcium-deficient rabbits, but the individual phospholipids were decreased in skeletal muscle. Lungs of the calcium-deficient group also had lower phospholipid levels than the high-calcium group. Liver, kidneys, brain and adipose tissue triglyceride levels were highest in the high-calcium group. The calcium level of skeletal muscle was lower in the calcium-deficient group than in the high-calcium group. Calcium in brain and adipose tissue were highest in the calcium-deficient group. Except for adipose tissue, magnesium levels of the tissues studied were not affected by dietary calcium.