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Comparative lipid response of four primate species to dietary changes in fat and carbohydrate

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      Abstract

      The serum lipid response to long-term feeding of saturated or unsaturated fat with or without dietary cholesterol was compared during three experiments using four species of juvenile monkeys (squirrel, cynomolgus, cebus and spider) born and raised in captivity. When diets containing 10% safflower oil, 10% coconut oil, or high in carbohydrate (48.6 %) with or without 0.1 % cholesterol were fed to cebus and squirrel monkeys for alternate 6 week periods, coconut oil was hypercholesterolemic in both species, but dietary cholesterol further enhanced the hypercholesterolemia only in squirrel monkeys. The effect of the nature of the dietary carbohydrate on serum lipids was examined by feeding these diets continuously to spider monkeys for 36 months while varying the source of the carbohydrate. The results indicated that only coconut oil with sucrose was hyperlipidemic in this species. When cynomolgus and cebus monkeys were fed coconut or safflower oil with or without 0.2% cholesterol, the cynomolgus monkey demonstrated a marked hypercholesterolemia in response to dietary cholesterol and a more moderate response to saturated fat, while the cebus again proved more sensitive to dietary saturated fat than to dietary cholesterol. These data emphasize the interspecies variation between primates with respect to their serum lipid responses to dietary saturated fat, carbohydrate and cholesterol, and identify potential models for study of control mechanisms involved in the regulation of circulating lipids.

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