The present paper reports the influence on plasma lipids of isoenergetic diets containing 30 YO of energy as fat, with a polyunsaturated: saturated fat ratio of 4.00 or 0.25, consumed for 8 weeks by twenty-five young normolipidaemic males. Approximately 70 % of the fat energy was provided by the test fats: soya-bean fat and coconut fat. During the soya-bean-fat-eating period the total plasma cholesterol level fell significantly compared with baseline values (P < 0.001) and during the coconut-fat-eating phase total plasma cholesterol level increased significantly compared with the soya-bean-eating period (P < 0001).On the soya-bean-fat diet, high-density-lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol decreased by 15 YO (range 6–35 YO) and plasma triacylglycerols decreased by 25 YO (range 13–37 YO). Results of the present study show that even when the proportion of total fat in the diet is low, a high intake of linoleic acid lowers both total plasma cholesterol and HDL-cholesterol, while a high intake of saturated fat elevates both these lipid fractions. Application of regression formulas to the present findings indicates that short-chain saturated fatty acids have a neutral effect on serum cholesterol
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