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Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Feb;83(2):237-43.

Effects of butter high in ruminant trans and monounsaturated fatty acids on lipoproteins, incorporation of fatty acids into lipid classes, plasma C-reactive protein, oxidative stress, hemostatic variables, and insulin in healthy young men.

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Research Department of Human Nutrition, Center of Advanced Food Research, The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Frederiksberg, Denmark.



Evidence suggests that ruminant trans fatty acids (FAs), such as vaccenic acid, do not increase the risk of ischemic heart disease (IHD). However, the effects of ruminant trans FAs on risk markers of IHD have been poorly investigated.


The objective was to investigate the effect of butter with a naturally high content of vaccenic acid and a concomitantly higher content of monounsaturated FAs on classic and novel risk markers of IHD.


In a double-blind, randomized, 5-wk, parallel intervention study, 42 healthy young men were given 115 g fat/d from test butter that was high in vaccenic acid (3.6 g vaccenic acid/d) or a control butter with a low content of vaccenic acid. Blood and urine samples were collected before and after the intervention.


The intake of the vaccenic acid-rich diet resulted in 6% and 9% lower total cholesterol and plasma HDL-cholesterol concentrations, respectively, than did the intake of the control diet (P = 0.05 and 0.002, respectively), whereas the ratio of total to HDL cholesterol did not differ significantly between the groups. The FA composition of lipid classes reflected the FAs' proportion of the test butter. No other differences were observed.


Butter high in ruminant trans and monounsaturated FAs resulted in significantly lower total and HDL cholesterol than did the control butter with higher amounts of saturated FAs. It may be that the differences were due to the greater content of monounsaturated FAs and the lesser content of saturated FAs in the butter rich in ruminant trans FAs, rather than to the content of vaccenic acid per se.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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