These studies were designed to elucidate how shorter (MCT) and longer (HCO) chain-length saturated triacylglycerols and cholesterol interact to alter steady-state plasma LDL-cholesterol levels. When either MCT or HCO was fed in the absence of cholesterol, there was little effect on receptor-dependent LDL transport but a 36-43% increase in LDL-cholesterol production. Cholesterol feeding in the absence of triacylglycerol led to significant suppression of receptor-dependent LDL transport and a 26-31% increase in LDL-cholesterol production. However, when the longer chain-length saturated triacylglycerol was fed together with cholesterol there was a marked increase in the suppression of receptor-dependent LDL transport and an 82% increase in production rate. Together, these two alterations accounted for the observed eightfold increase in plasma LDL-cholesterol concentration. In contrast, feeding the shorter chain-length saturated triacylglycerol with cholesterol actually enhanced receptor-dependent LDL transport while also causing a smaller increase (52%) in the LDL-cholesterol production rate. As a result of these two opposing events, MCT feeding had essentially no net effect on plasma LDL-cholesterol levels beyond that induced by cholesterol feeding alone.
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