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Metabolism. 2002 Dec;51(12):1534-7.

Replacement of dietary saturated fat with trans fat reduces serum paraoxonase activity in healthy men and women.

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Division of Human Nutrition and Epidemiology, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands.


A high intake of saturated fat and of trans isomers of unsaturated fat is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Recently, we found that replacement of saturated fat by trans fat in a dietary controlled study with 32 men and women decreased serum high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol and impaired endothelial function, suggesting that trans fats have stronger adverse effects than saturated fats. To investigate this further, we measured the activity of serum paraoxonase (PON1) in serum samples of the same volunteers after consumption of both diets. PON1 protects lipoproteins from oxidative damage, and higher PON1 activity appears to be related to lower cardiovascular disease risk. PON1 activity (mean +/- SD) was 195.9 +/- 108.9 U/L after 4 weeks of consuming a diet with 22.9% of energy (en%) from saturated fat and 184.5 +/- 99.3 U/L when 9.3 en% from saturated fat was replaced by trans fat (P =.006). Thus, replacement of dietary saturated fat by trans fat not only decreased serum HDL-cholesterol and impaired endothelial function, but also decreased the activity of serum paraoxonase. Whether the changes in serum paraoxonase activity caused the changes in endothelial function needs to be further investigated.

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