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Cholesterol-lowering effect of soyabean lecithin in normolipidaemic rats by stimulation of biliary lipid secretion


The purpose of the present study was to assess the role of the liver in the plasma-cholesterol-lowering effect of soyabean lecithin. Normolipidaemic rats were fed on lecithin-enriched or control diets with the same amount of protein. The lecithin diets contained 200 g/kg high-fat commercial semi-purified soyabean lecithin (230 g/kg total lipids as soyabean phosphatidylcholine) or 200 g/kg high-fat purified soyabean lecithin (930 g/kg total lipids as soyabean phosphatidylcholine). The control diets were a low-fat diet (40 g fat/kg) and a high-fat triacylglycerol-rich diet (200 g fat/kg). The high-fat diets were isoenergetic. The cholesterol-lowering effect of the lecithin-enriched diets was associated with significantly lower levels of plasma total- and HDL-cholesterol and significantly higher levels of bile phosphatidylcholine (PC), bile salts and cholesterol. These findings suggest that the liver plays a major role in the reduction of plasma cholesterol, the increased biliary lipid being provided by both HDL and the hepatic microsomal pools of PC and cholesterol.

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British Journal of Nutrition
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