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J Nutr. 1978 Jun;108(6):936-43.

Effect of excess dietary L-histidine on plasma cholesterol levels in weanling rats.


Supplementation of a closed formula, cereal based stock diet with excess L-histidine at a 5% or 8% level for 4 days reduced growth and induced hepatomegaly and an increase in plasma cholesterole levels in weanling rats. The enlargement of the liver was in part due to glycogen accumulation; plasma glucose concentration was unchanged. Feeding four different amino acids (L-phenylalanine, L-glutamic acid, glycine and L-tryptophan), at levels which caused reduction of growth comparable to the 5% and 8% L-histidine supplementation, did not effect liver weight or plasma cholesterol levels. L-Threonine added, at a 2% level, to the 8% L-histidine diet did not alleviate any of the histidine effects. Rats fed a diet containing 5% urocanic acid, the first metabolite of the histidine degradative pathway, grew at a normal rate but had higher plasma cholesterol levels compared to rats fed stock diet. When rats fed L-histidine-or urocanic acid-supplemented diets were returned to stock diet, a normal growth rate was resumed immediately and plasma cholesterol levels returned to normal within 6 days. These results suggest that L-histidine and/or urocanic acid induce a hypercholesterolemia which disappears several days after the supplementation ceases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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