Plasma kinetics of chylomicron-like emulsion and lipid transfers to high-density lipoprotein (HDL) in lacto-ovo vegetarian and in omnivorous subjects

Juliana C Vinagre, Carmen C G Vinagre, Fernanda S Pozzi, Cristiane Z Zácari, Raul C Maranhão
European Journal of Nutrition 2014, 53 (3): 981-7

PURPOSE: Previously, it was showed that vegan diet improves the metabolism of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins by increasing the plasma clearance of atherogenic remnants. The aim of the current study was to investigate this metabolism in lacto-ovo vegetarians whose diet is less strict, allowing the ingestion of eggs and milk. Transfer of lipids to HDL, an important step in HDL metabolism, was tested in vitro.

METHODS: Eighteen lacto-ovo vegetarians and 29 omnivorous subjects, all eutrophic and normolipidemic, were intravenously injected with triglyceride-rich emulsions labeled with ¹⁴C-cholesterol oleate and ³H-triolein. Fractional clearance rates (FCR, in min⁻¹) were calculated from samples collected during 60 min. Lipid transfer to HDL was assayed by incubating plasma samples with a donor nanoemulsion labeled with radioactive lipids.

RESULTS: LDL cholesterol was lower in vegetarians than in omnivores (2.1 ± 0.8 and 2.7 ± 0.7 mmol/L, respectively, p < 0.05), but HDL cholesterol and triglycerides were equal. Cholesteryl ester FCR was greater in vegetarians than in omnivores (0.016 ± 0.012, 0.003 ± 0.003, p < 0.01), whereas triglyceride FCR was equal. Cholesteryl ester transfer to HDL was lower in vegetarians than in omnivores (2.7 ± 0.6, 3.5 ± 1.5 %, p < 0.05), but free cholesterol, triglyceride and phospholipid transfers and HDL size were equal.

CONCLUSION: Similarly to vegans, lacto-ovo vegetarian diet increases remnant removal, as indicated by cholesteryl oleate FCR, which may favor atherosclerosis prevention, and has the ability to change lipid transfer to HDL.

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