Animal Industry Report

Extension Number

ASL R3005


Small Animals

Summary and Implications

Effects of dietary cholesterol (0 (control), 1, 2, 4 or 8 g cholesterol/kg diet for 12 wks) on lipid contents and fatty acid compositions in red blood cell (RBC) membranes and plasma of rabbits and pathological changes and lipid oxidation in their livers were determined. Contents of total lipid and unsaturated fatty acids in RBC membrane and plasma of rabbits fed ≥4 g and ≥2 g dosages, respectively, were significantly higher (P < 0.05) than those of the control, and their increases were dosage-dependent. Accumulations of neutral lipids in centrolobular regions of livers in rabbits fed ≥ 2 g were dosage-dependent. Lipid oxidation in liver of rabbits fed 8 g was >2 times higher (P < 0.05) than those fed lower dosages. The results indicated that dietary cholesterol can modify lipid metabolisms of rabbits, including biosynthesis and transportation of lipids and fatty acids and incorporation of fatty acid into RBC membranes.

Copyright Holder

Iowa State University