Lowering of plasma cholesterol levels in free living adolescent males; use of natural and synthetic polyunsaturated foods to provide balanced fat diets

Academic Article


  • 229 adolescent male pupils, attending 2 boarding schools, participated in a study, under free living dietary conditions, designed to assess the effects on plasma lipids of altering only the type and not the amount of dietary fat. The students were monitored for 6 wk on 3 different diets. During the first study period, dietary changes comprised substituting a polyunsaturated dried 'filled' milk and products derived therefrom for conventional dairy products (diet A). The second dietary phase involved replacing all meat and dairy products with equivalent polyunsaturated ruminant fat products (diet B). The third period consisted of a control diet of conventional dairy and meat products. During both polyunsaturated diets a 14% reduction in plasma cholesterol was achieved compared with control levels. Low density lipoprotein cholesterol was similarly suppressed. A greater decrease in plasma cholesterol of 19-21% was recorded in those pupils with initial cholesterol levels greater than 230 mg/dl. There was no significant difference in plasma triglycerides between diet A and the control diet whereas the triglyceride levels were 16.5% lower during diet B. The fall in plasma cholesterol coincided with an increase in plasma triglyceride linoleate from 8% to 19% of total triglyceride fatty acids. Dietary analysis of the pupils' diet indicated an increase in the ratio of polyunsaturates to saturates from 0.27 during the control period to 1.08 on the dried filled milk and 0.90 on the polyunsaturated ruminant fat products. A palatability survey showed that both the dried filled milk and the polyunsaturated ruminant fat products were as well accepted by the pupils as the conventional products. The results suggest that such products could, if introduced to the general population, play an important part in plasma cholesterol suppression in the hope that this would significantly reduce the incidence of coronary artery disease.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Stein EA; Mendelsohn D; Fleming M; Barnard GD; Carter KJ; du Toit PS; Hansen JD; Bersohn I
  • Start Page

  • 1204
  • End Page

  • 1216
  • Volume

  • 28
  • Issue

  • 11