Effects of coconut oil, butter, and safflower oil on lipids and lipoproteins in persons with moderately elevated cholesterol levels.

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      The physiological effects of coconut oil, butter, and safflower oil on lipids and lipoproteins have been compared in moderately hypercholesterolemic individuals. Twenty eight participants (13 men, 15 women) followed three 6-week experimental diets of similar macronutrient distribution with the different test fats providing 50% total dietary fat. Total cholesterol and low density lipoprotein cholesterol were significantly higher (P < 0.001) on the diet containing butter [6.8 +/- 0.9, 4.5 +/- 0.8 mmol/l] (mean +/- SD), respectively than on the coconut oil diet (6.4 +/- 0.8; 4.2 +/- 0.7 mmol/l) when levels were significantly higher (P < 0.01) than on the safflower diet (6.1 +/- 0.8; 3.9 +/- 0.7 mmol/l). Findings with regard to the other measures of lipids and lipoproteins were less consistent. Apolipoprotein A-I was significantly higher on coconut oil (157 +/- 17 mg/dl) and on butter (141 +/- 23 mg/dl) than on safflower oil (132 +/- 22 mg/dl). Apolipoprotein B was also higher on butter (86 +/- 20 mg/dl) and coconut oil (91 +/- 32 mg/dl) than on safflower oil (77 +/- 19 mg/dl). However gender differences were apparent. In the group as a whole, high density lipoprotein did not differ significantly on the three diets whereas levels in women on the butter and coconut oil diet were significantly higher than on the safflower oil diet. Triacylglycerol was higher on the butter diet than on the safflower and coconut oil diets but the difference only reached statistical significance in women. Cholesteryl ester transfer activity was significantly higher on butter than safflower oil in the group as a whole and in women.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)


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