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Am J Clin Nutr. 1996 Jul;64(1):53-9.

Effects of inherent responsiveness to diet and day-to-day diet variation on plasma lipoprotein concentrations.

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Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


We studied the biological variability and responsiveness to dietary fat of plasma lipoprotein cholesterol and triacylglycerol concentrations. Ten normal persons were studied on 3 consecutive days while they were eating their unrestricted usual diets and after 8, 9, and 10 d of eating a constant high-fat and low-fat diet administered in a crossover design. The changes in plasma low-density-lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol concentrations from baseline with the high-fat diet were inversely correlated with the changes from baseline with the low-fat diet (r = -0.74, P = 0.01), as well as with the changes from the low-fat to high-fat diet (r = -0.93, P < 0.001). The extent of increases in plasma LDL-cholesterol concentrations from the baseline to the high-fat diet were positively correlated with the increases from the low-fat to the high-fat diet (r = 0.93, P < 0.001). The responses of high-density-lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol were not consistently correlated. The within-person between-day CV of LDL decreased from 10% with the unrestricted diet to 6% (P < 0.05) with the high-fat diet and to 7% with the low-fat diet (NS). The CV of total triacylglycerol (22%) and very-low-density-lipoprotein (VLDL) triacylglycerol (48%) on the unrestricted diet significantly decreased by 51-59% during both controlled diets (P = 0.03-0.06). The CV of HDL cholesterol was 5.3% during baseline, 4.2% during the high-fat diet, and 3.2% during the low-fat diet (P = 0.4, 0.19, respectively). In summary, individuals have a reproducible plasma LDL-cholesterol response when changing their dietary fat intake. The day-to-day variation in total triacylglycerol, VLDL triacylglycerol, and LDL-cholesterol concentrations decreases when day-to-day dietary variation is eliminated.

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