Effect of long-chain fatty acids on low-density-lipoprotein-cholesterol metabolism

Laura A. Woollett, John M. Dietschy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


The concentration of cholesterol in the low-density-lipoprotein (LDL) fraction of plasma is one of the major risk factors for coronary heart disease. Steady-state concentrations of LDL cholesterol in the plasma are determined primarily by the production rate and the rate of removal of LDL cholesterol from the circulation by receptor-dependent transport. The magnitude of these two processes is affected by the type of fatty acid in the diet. Saturated fatty acids with 14 and 16 carbon atoms suppress receptor-dependent LDL-cholesterol transport into the liver, increase the LDL-cholesterol production rate, and raise the plasma LDL-cholesterol concentration. The 9-cis 18:1 fatty acid restores receptor activity, lowers the production rate, and decreases the plasma LDL-cholesterol concentration. In contrast with these fatty acids, the 18:0 and 9-trans 18:1 fatty acids are biologically inactive and so do not change the circulating LDL-cholesterol concentration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)991S-996S
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1994


  • Cholesterol
  • Cholesteryl esters
  • Liver
  • Long-chain fatty acids
  • Low-density lipoprotein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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