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Am J Clin Nutr. 1992 Nov;56(5):881-6.

Plasma lipids and lipoproteins during 6 d of maintenance feeding with long-chain, medium-chain, and mixed-chain triglycerides.

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Clinical Nutrition Research Unit, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN 37232-2561.


This study assessed fasting plasma lipids and lipoproteins and postprandial plasma lipids in healthy male subjects fed liquid-formula diets containing 40% of total energy as long-chain (LCT, primarily C18:1 and C18:2), medium-chain (MCT, C8:0-C10:0), or mixed-chain (structured lipid, STL, mostly C8:0, C10:0, and C22:0) triglycerides for 6 d. None of the diets altered plasma cholesterol concentrations. HDL cholesterol was decreased 14% by the STL diet (P < 0.044) and 15% by the MCT diet (P < 0.004) but was unchanged by the LCT diet. Plasma triglycerides were elevated 42% by the MCT diet (P < 0.006), but were unaltered by either the STL or LCT diets. Neither the STL nor the MCT diets produced changes in fasting lipoprotein lipid composition; however, during the LCT diet, VLDLs became enriched in triglyceride and LDLs became enriched in cholesterol. Postprandial triglyceridemia was significantly greater after subjects consumed the LCT diet than it was after they consumed either the STL or MCT diets, which were similar. Short-term feeding of MCT and STL diets produces significant changes in lipid metabolism. An understanding of the long-term effects of these diets awaits further study.

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