Effect of Dietary Cholesterol and Cholesterol Oxides on Blood Cholesterol, Lipids, and the Development of Atherosclerosis in Rabbits

Sun Jin Hur, Konkuk University
Byungrok Min, University of Maryland - Eastern Shore
Ki Chang Nam, Sunchon University
Eun Joo Lee, University of Wisconsin-Stout
Dong U. Ahn, Iowa State University

This article is from International Journal of Molecular Sciences 14 (2013): 12593, doi:10.3390/ijms140612593. Posted with permission.


Two studies were conducted to determine the effects of dietary cholesterol (CHO) and cholesterol oxides (COPs) on the development of atherosclerosis and the changes in fatty acid and blood characteristics in rabbits. In the first study, forty male New Zealand white rabbits were divided into 5 groups and fed commercial rabbit chow with no added CHO or COPs, 1 g CHO, 0.9 g CHO + 0.1 g COPs, 0.8 g CHO + 0.2 g COPs, or 0.5 g CHO + 0.5 g COPs per kg diet. In the second study, 24 male New Zealand White rabbits were divided into 3 groups and fed a diet containing 2 g CHO, 1.6 g CHO + 0.4 g COPs, or 1.2 g CHO + 0.8 g COPs per kg diet. All diets induced atherosclerotic lesions in the rabbits’ ascending thoracic aorta. The serum CHO and triglyceride levels (p < 0.05) increased significantly with the increased levels of CHO in the diets. Dietary CHO or COPs did not influence high-density lipoprotein CHO levels. The ratio of saturated fatty acid to unsaturated fatty acid increased as the level of dietary CHO and COPs increased.