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Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Jul;84(1):54-62.

Palm and partially hydrogenated soybean oils adversely alter lipoprotein profiles compared with soybean and canola oils in moderately hyperlipidemic subjects.

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  • 1Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory, Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston, MA, USA.



Partially hydrogenated fat has an unfavorable effect on cardiovascular disease risk. Palm oil is a potential substitute because of favorable physical characteristics.


We assessed the effect of palm oil on lipoprotein profiles compared with the effects of both partially hydrogenated fat and oils high in monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fatty acids.


Fifteen volunteers aged > or =50 y with LDL cholesterol > or =130 mg/dL were provided with food for each of 4 diets (35 d/phase) varying in type of fat (partially hydrogenated soybean, soybean, palm, or canola; two-thirds fat, 20% of energy). Plasma fatty acid profiles, lipids, lipoproteins, apolipoprotein A-I, apolipoprotein B, lipoprotein(a), glucose, insulin, HDL subfractions, and indicators of lipoprotein metabolism (HDL-cholesterol fractional esterification rate, cholesteryl ester transfer protein, phospholipid transfer protein, and paraoxonase activities) were measured at the end of each phase.


Plasma fatty acid profiles reflected the main source of dietary fat. Partially hydrogenated soybean and palm oils resulted in higher LDL-cholesterol concentrations than did soybean (12% and 14%, respectively; P < 0.05) and canola (16% and 18%; P < 0.05) oils. Apolipoprotein B (P < 0.05) and A-I (P < 0.05) concentrations mirrored the pattern of LDL- and HDL-cholesterol concentrations, respectively. No significant effect on the total-to-HDL cholesterol ratio was observed for palm oil compared with the other dietary fats. HDL3 cholesterol was higher after palm oil than after partially hydrogenated and soybean oils (P < 0.05). Differences in measures of glucose and HDL intravascular processing attributable to dietary fat were small.


Palm and partially hydrogenated soybean oils, compared with soybean and canola oils, adversely altered the lipoprotein profile in moderately hyperlipidemic subjects without significantly affecting HDL intravascular processing markers.

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