Effect of dietary stearic acid on plasma cholesterol and lipoprotein levels

A. Bonanome, Scott M Grundy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

648 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We studied the metabolic effects of stearic acid (18:0) on plasma lipoprotein levels in 11 subjects during three dietary periods of three weeks each. The three liquid-formula diets, which were used in random order, were high in palmitic acid (16:0), stearic acid, and oleic acid (18:1), respectively. Caloric intakes were the same during the three periods. As compared with the values observed when the subjects were on the high-palmitic-acid diet, plasma total cholesterol decreased by an average of 14 percent during consumption of the high-stearic-acid diet (P < 0.005) and by 10 percent during consumption of the high-oleic-acid diet (P < 0.02). Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels fell by 21 percent in subjects on the high-stearic-acid diet (P < 0.005) and by 15 percent in subjects on the high-oleic-acid diet (P < 0.005). No significant differences were observed in the plasma levels of triglycerides or high-density lipoprotein cholesterol among the three diets. Measurements of the intestine absorption of palmitic, stearic, and oleic acids revealed essentially complete absorption of each during the three dietary periods. The oleic acid content of plasma triglycerides and cholesterol esters increased significantly during the high-stearic-acid period, suggesting that stearic acid is rapidly converted to oleic acid. We conclude that stearic acid appears to be as effective as oleic acid in lowering plasma cholesterol levels when either replaces palmitic acid in the diet.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1244-1248
Number of pages5
JournalNew England Journal of Medicine
Volume318
Issue number19
StatePublished - 1988

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Oleic Acid
Diet
Palmitic Acid
Triglycerides
Cholesterol
Stearic Acids
Formulated Food
Cholesterol Esters
lipoprotein cholesterol
stearic acid
Energy Intake
LDL Cholesterol
HDL Cholesterol
Lipoproteins
Intestines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Effect of dietary stearic acid on plasma cholesterol and lipoprotein levels. / Bonanome, A.; Grundy, Scott M.

In: New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 318, No. 19, 1988, p. 1244-1248.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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