Effects of fats high in stearic acid on lipid and lipoprotein concentrations in men

M. A. Denke, Scott M Grundy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


The effects of beef tallow and cocoa butter, two fats with a high stearic acid content (C18:0), on serum lipid and lipoprotein concentrations were compared with the effects of butter fat and olive oil in 10 middle-aged men. Liquid-formula diets containing 40% of the calories from the test fat were fed in random order for 3 wk each, with lipoprotein concentrations measured on the last five days. Butter fat raised low-density lipoprotein (LDL) concentrations the most (4.23 ± .15 mmol/L; x̄ ± SE). Beef-tallow feeding resulted in significantly lower concentrations of LDL (4.03 ± 0.18 mmol/L); cocoa butter resulted in even lower concentrations (3.82 ± .15 mmol/L). The lowest concentration of LDL was observed with olive oil (3.62 ± 0.18 mmol/L). Fecal excretion of fatty acids, after adjustment for fecal flow, indicated that oleic acid (C18:1) was 99% absorbed, palmitic acid (C16:0) was 96-97% absorbed, and stearic acid was 90-94% absorbed for the three fats containing significant amounts of stearic acid.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1036-1040
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1991


  • Beef tallow
  • Cholesterol lowering
  • Cocoa butter
  • Dietary response
  • Stearic acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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