Send to

Choose Destination
J Nutr. 1992 Dec;122(12):2330-40.

Prickly pear (Opuntia sp.) pectin reverses low density lipoprotein receptor suppression induced by a hypercholesterolemic diet in guinea pigs.

Author information

Department of Nutrition and Food Science, University of Arizona, Tucson 85721.


The effects of prickly pear pectin on plasma LDL metabolism were investigated by feeding guinea pigs either a diet containing 15 g/100 g lard and 0.25 g/100 g cholesterol (LC diet) or the LC diet in which cellulose was partially replaced (2.5 g/100 g) by prickly pear pectin (LC-P diet). The LC-P diet lowered plasma LDL cholesterol concentrations by 33% (P < 0.001). Low density lipoprotein composition was modified by intake of prickly pear pectin; the relative percentages of free and esterified cholesterol were lower and triglycerides were higher in LDL from animals fed the LC-P diet (P < 0.05). Intake of prickly pear pectin did not affect hepatic 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase activity; however, hepatic free and esterified cholesterol concentrations were lowered by 46 and 64%, respectively. Hepatic apolipoprotein B/E receptor expression (Bmax) was 60% higher in animals fed the LC-P diet (P < 0.01). Similar to the in vitro data, receptor-mediated LDL fractional catabolic rates were 190% higher in animals fed the LC-P diet (P < 0.05), whereas apolipoprotein LDL flux rates were not affected. Apolipoprotein LDL pool size and fractional catabolic rates exhibited a significant correlation (r = -0.52, P < 0.01). These data indicate that an increase in apolipoprotein B/E receptor expression is a major metabolic response by which intake of prickly pear pectin decreases plasma LDL concentrations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center