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J Clin Invest. 1987 Jun;79(6):1729-39.

Heterogeneity of cholesterol homeostasis in man. Response to changes in dietary fat quality and cholesterol quantity.


Studies were carried out to examine the effects of dietary fat and cholesterol on cholesterol homeostasis in man. 75 12-wk studies were carried out during intake of 35% of calories as either saturated or polyunsaturated fat, first low and then high in dietary cholesterol. Dietary fat and cholesterol intakes, plasma lipid and lipoprotein levels, cholesterol absorption and sterol synthesis in isolated blood mononuclear leukocytes were measured during each diet period. In 69% of the studies the subjects compensated for the increased cholesterol intake by decreasing cholesterol fractional absorption and/or endogenous cholesterol synthesis. When an increase in plasma cholesterol levels was observed there was a failure to suppress endogenous cholesterol synthesis. Plasma cholesterol levels were more sensitive to dietary fat quality than to cholesterol quantity. The results demonstrate that the responses to dietary cholesterol and fat are highly individualized and that most individuals have effective feedback control mechanisms.

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