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Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 1995 Dec;15(12):2101-10.

Compared with dietary monounsaturated and saturated fat, polyunsaturated fat protects African green monkeys from coronary artery atherosclerosis.

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Department of Comparative Medicine, Bowman Gray School of Medicine of Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC 27157-1040, USA.


Atherogenic diets enriched in saturated, n-6 polyunsaturated, and monounsaturated fatty acids were fed to African green monkeys for 5 years to define effects on plasma lipoproteins and coronary artery atherosclerosis. The monkeys fed polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat had similar plasma concentrations of LDL cholesterol, and these values were significantly lower than for LDL in the animals fed saturated fat. Plasma HDL cholesterol concentrations were comparable in animals fed saturated and monounsaturated fat and were significantly higher than in animals fed polyunsaturated fat. Thus, the monounsaturated fat group had the lowest LDL/HDL ratio. LDL particle size was largest in the saturated and monounsaturated fat groups, significantly larger than in the polyunsaturated fat group. LDL particle enrichment with cholesteryl oleate was the greatest in the animals fed monounsaturated fat, next greatest in the saturated fat-fed animals, and was least in the polyunsaturated fat-fed animals. Coronary artery atherosclerosis as measured by intimal area was less in the polyunsaturated fat compared with the saturated fat groups, was less in the animals fed polyunsaturated fat compared with the monounsaturated fat-fed animals, but did not differ between the monounsaturated and saturated fat groups. Cholesteryl ester, particularly cholesteryl oleate, accumulation in the coronary arteries was also similar between groups fed monounsaturated and saturated fat but was minimal in the animals fed polyunsaturated fat. In sum, the monkeys fed monounsaturated fat developed equivalent amounts of coronary artery atherosclerosis as those fed saturated fat, but monkeys fed polyunsaturated fat developed less. The beneficial effects of the lower LDL and higher HDL in the animals fed monounsaturated fat apparently were offset by the atherogenic shifts in LDL particle composition. Dietary polyunsaturated fat appears to result in the least amount of coronary artery atherosclerosis because it prevents cholesteryl oleate accumulation in LDL and the coronary arteries in these primates.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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