The role of dietary triglycerides in cholesterol metabolism

  • R. Fraser
    For reprint requests: Dr. R. Fraser, Christchurch Clinical School, Christchurch, New Zealand.
    Department of Pathology, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
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      Ratios of free cholesterol to cholesteryl esters in thoracic duct lymph from rabbits fed varying amounts of cholesterol and triglycerides were estimated to study the influence of dietary triglycerides on cholesterol metabolism. Lymph was collected from groups of animals 6 hours after feeding a marker of tritiated cholesterol in food containing by weight 0, 0.8 or 2 % cholesterol and 0, 15 or 30% of various triglycerides. At constant levels of dietary cholesterol, the proportion of free cholesterol increased as dietary triglyceride increased. At constant levels of a triglyceride, the proportion of cholesteryl esters increased as dietary cholesterol and total cholesterol in lymph increased. These findings may have metabolic significance since the surface of chylomicrons carries diffusible free cholesterol while their core contains the cholesteryl esters which are metabolized by the liver and perhaps inhibit synthesis of cholesterol by that organ.


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