Effect of different fat-enriched meats on markers of cholesterol metabolism

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Different kinds of fatty acids can affect the synthesis, absorption, and elimination of cholesterol. A recent study assessed associations of cholesterol metabolism with intake of two meats with different fatty acid composition in healthy volunteers. Acute changes in the diet fat content modified the synthesis, absorption, and biliary elimination of cholesterol--even in the absence of changes in total and LDL plasma cholesterol.


  • Study of 20 subjects (12 males and eight females; age, 34.4 ± 11.6 years; body mass index (BMI), 23.5 ± 2.3 kg/m2; low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, 2.97 ± 0.55 mmol/l; high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, 1.61 ± 0.31 mmol/l; triglycerides (TG), 1.06 ± 0.41 mmol/l)
  • Subjects completed a 30-day randomized cross-over study to compare the cholesterol metabolism effect of 250 g of low-fat lamb versus 250 g of high-fat lamb per day in their usual diet


  • No changes in weight, plasma lipids, or physical activity were observed across the study
  • Cholesterol intestinal absorption was decreased with both diets
  • Cholesterol synthesis and elimination decreased during the low-fat lamb dietary intervention (ρ = 0.048 and ρ = 0.005, respectively)