Dietary mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids similarly affect LDL size in healthy men and women.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


The Journal of nutrition, Volume 132, Issue 4, p.715-8 (2002)


Adult, CHOLESTEROL, Dietary Fats, Fatty Acids, Monounsaturated, Fatty Acids, Unsaturated, Female, Humans, Lipoproteins, LDL, Male, Particle Size


The goal of this study was to investigate the effect of the dietary fat composition on LDL peak particle diameter. Therefore, we measured LDL size by gradient gel electrophoresis in 56 (30 men, 26 women) healthy participants in a controlled dietary study. First, all participants received a baseline diet rich in saturated fat for 2 wk; they were then randomly assigned to one of three dietary treatments, which contained refined olive oil [rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), n = 18], rapeseed oil [rich in MUFA and (n-3)-polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), n = 18], or sunflower oil [rich in (n-6)-PUFA, n = 20] as the principal source of fat for 4 wk. Repeated-measures ANOVA revealed a small, but significant reduction in LDL size during the oil diet phase (-0.36 nm, P = 0.012), which did not differ significantly among the three groups (P = 0.384). Furthermore, affiliation with one of the three diet groups did not contribute significantly to the observed variation in LDL size (P = 0.690). In conclusion, our data indicate that dietary unsaturated fat similarly reduces LDL size relative to saturated fat. However, the small magnitude of this reduction also suggests that the composition of dietary fat is not a major factor affecting LDL size.