Palmitic and stearic acids similarly affect plasma lipoprotein metabolism in cynomolgus monkeys fed diets with adequate levels of linoleic acid.J Nutr 2001; 131(8):2115-20JN
This study was designed to evaluate whether the exchange of specific saturated fatty acids [SFA; palmitic acid (16:0) for stearic acid (18:0)] would differentially affect plasma lipids and lipoproteins, when diets contained the currently recommended levels of total SFA, monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). Ten male cynomolgus monkeys were fed one of two purified diets (using a cross-over design) enriched either in 16:0 (palmitic acid diet) or 18:0 (stearic acid diet). Both diets provided 30% of energy as fat (SFA/monounsaturated fatty acid/PUFA: 1/1/1). The palmitic acid and stearic acid diets were based on palm oil or cocoa butter (59% and 50% of the total fat, respectively). By adding different amounts of sunflower, safflower and olive oils, an effective exchange of 16:0 for 18:0 of approximately 5% of energy was achieved with all other fatty acids being held constant. Monkeys were rotated through two 10-wk feeding periods, during which time plasma lipids and in vivo lipoprotein metabolism (following the simultaneous injection of (131)I-LDL and (125)I- HDL were evaluated). Plasma triacyglycerol (0.40 +/- 0.03 vs. 0.37 +/- 0.03 mmol/L), plasma total cholesterol (3.59 +/- 0.18 vs. 3.39 +/- 0.23 mmol/L), HDL cholesterol (1.60 +/- 0.16 vs 1.53 +/- 0.16 mmol/L) and non-HDL cholesterol (2.02 +/- 0.26 vs. 1.86 +/- 0.23 mmol/L) concentrations did not differ when monkeys consumed the palmitic acid and stearic acid diets, respectively. Plasma lipoprotein compositional analyses revealed a higher cholesteryl ester content in the VLDL fraction isolated after consumption of the stearic acid diet (P < 0.10), as well as a larger VLDL particle diameter (16.3 +/- 1.7 nm vs. 13.8 +/- 3.6 nm; P < 0.05). Kinetic analyses revealed no significant differences in LDL or HDL transport parameters. These data suggest that when incorporated into diets following current guidelines, containing adequate PUFA, an exchange of 16:0 for 18:0, representing approximately 11 g/(d.10.46 mJ) [ approximately 11 g/(d.2500 kcal)] does not affect the plasma lipid profile and has minor effects on lipoprotein composition. Whether a similar effect would occur in humans under comparable dietary conditions remains to be established.