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Ann Nutr Metab. 1988;32(4):177-85.

Long-term and short-term effects of dietary cholesterol and fats in the Mongolian gerbil.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University Hospital, Groningen, The Netherlands.


In long-term and short-term experiments with Mongolian gerbils the effects of various dietary fats and different amounts of cholesterol on progeniture and liver pathology were studied. In contrast to palm kernel oil, with 8.75% (w/w) of sunflower seed oil we observed fewer litters and a decreased survival of the sucklings. On 0.2% of cholesterol we observed severe hypercholesterolemia and storage of cholesterol ester in the liver, ultimately leading to cirrhosis. On 0.05% for 6 months the gerbils stayed in good health. Progeniture was unaffected on this level of intake.

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