Plasma lipoprotein cholesterol in rats fed a diet enriched in chitosan and cholesterol

Hsien-Tsung Yao, Meng-Tsan Chiang
Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology 2002, 48 (5): 379-83
To investigate the effect of dietary chitosan on plasma lipoprotein cholesterol metabolism, male Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats fed a cholesterol-enriched diet containing cellulose (CE) or chitosan (CS) were studied for 2 wk. Lower plasma total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) cholesterol were observed in rats fed a diet containing chitosan. In addition, significantly higher high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and HDL2 cholesterol were observed in rats after 2 wk of chitosan feeding. Rats fed the chitosan diet had increased triacylglycerol percentages and decreased free cholesterol, cholesteryl ester and phospholipid percentages in VLDL lipid composition. Chitosan significantly decreased the surface lipid proportions and increased the core lipid proportions in VLDL particles. In addition, the ratios of surface lipids to core lipids of the VLDL particles in rats fed a diet containing chitosan were significantly decreased. A significantly lower plasma apolipoprotein B (Apo B) concentration was observed in rats fed the chitosan diet as compared to those fed the cellulose diet. No significant difference in plasma triacylglycerols or glucose levels was observed between the two dietary groups. Results from this study suggest that chitosan may alter the VLDL particle size and also play an important role in the regulation of lipoprotein metabolism in rats.

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