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J Lipid Res. 1971 Mar;12(2):233-47.

Effects of dietary cholesterol on the regulation of total body cholesterol in man.


Studies on the interaction of cholesterol absorption, synthesis, and excretion were carried out in eight patients using sterol balance techniques. Absorption of dietary cholesterol was found to increase with intake; up to 1 g of cholesterol was absorbed in patients fed as much as 3 g per day. In most patients, increased absorption of cholesterol evoked two compensatory mechanisms: (a) increased reexcretion of cholesterol (but not of bile acids), and (b) decrease in total body synthesis. However, the amount of suppression in synthesis was extremely variable from one patient to another; one patient had no decrease in synthesis despite a large increment in absorption of dietary cholesterol, and two patients showed a complete suppression of synthesis. In the majority of cases the accumulation of cholesterol in body pools was small because of adequate compensation by reexcretion plus reduced synthesis, but in a few patients large accumulations occurred on high cholesterol diets when absorption exceeded the compensatory mechanisms. These accumulations were not necessarily reflected in plasma cholesterol levels; these increased only slightly or not at all.

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