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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: NUTRITION, OBESITY, CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH AND GENOMICS

Location: Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging

Title: Dietary carbohydrate modifies the inverse association between saturated fat intake and cholesterol on very low-density lipoproteins

Authors
item Frazier-Wood, Alexis -
item Kabagambe, Edmond -
item Borecki, Ingrid -
item Tiwari, Hemant -
item Ordovas, Jose -
item Arnett, Donna -

Submitted to: Lipid Insights
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 1, 2011
Publication Date: August 1, 2011
Citation: Frazier-Wood, A.C., Kabagambe, E.K., Borecki, I.B., Tiwari, H.K., Ordovas, J.M., Arnett, D.K. 2011. Dietary carbohydrate modifies the inverse association between saturated fat intake and cholesterol on very low-density lipoproteins. Lipid Insights. 4:7-15.

Interpretive Summary: For decades, nutrition research has focused on the health effects of single nutrients; however, we eat foods and we follow dietary patterns. Therefore, some of the current inconsistencies found in nutrition literature could be reconciled if the balance across several nutrients is taken into consideration. Along these lines we investigated the relationship between dietary saturated fat on fasting triglyceride (TG) and cholesterol levels, and the modulation of this relationship by dietary carbohydrate intake. 1036 Men and women in the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute’s Genetics of Lipid-Lowering Drugs and Diet Network (GOLDN) study were included. When we carried out analyses including only saturated fat as a predictor, saturated fat did not show significant associations with fasting lipids. When carbohydrate intake was included, carbohydrate intake per se did not associate with lipids, but there was an inverse relationship between saturated fat intake and very low density lipoprotein –C (VLDL-C) and TG levels. We conclude that, when controlling for carbohydrate intake, higher saturated fat was associated with lower VLDL-C and TGs. This was not the case at higher intakes of carbohydrate. This has important implications for dietary advice aimed at reducing TG levels another important risk factor.

Technical Abstract: We aimed to investigate the relationship between dietary saturated fat on fasting triglyceride (TG) and cholesterol levels, and any mediation of this relationship by dietary carbohydrate intake. Men and women in the NHLBI Genetics of Lipid-Lowering Drugs and Diet Network (GOLDN) study (n = 1036, mean age +/- SD = 49 +/- 16 y) were included. Mixed linear models were run with saturated fat as a predictor variable and fasting TG, very low density lipoprotein cholesterol (VLDL-C), low density cholesterol (LDL-C) and high density cholesterol (HDL-C) as separate outcome variables. Subsequent models were run which included dietary carbohydrate as a predictor variable, and an interaction term between saturated fat and carbohydrate. All models controlled for age, sex, BMI, blood pressure and dietary covariates. In models that included only saturated fat as a predictor, saturated fat did not show significant associations with fasting lipids. When carbohydrate intake and an interaction term between carbohydrates and saturated fat intake was included, carbohydrate intake did not associate with lipids, but there was an inverse relationship between saturated fat intake and VLDL-C (P = 0.01) with a significant interaction (P = 0.01) between saturated fat and carbohydrate with regard to fasting VLDL-C concentrations. Similar results were observed for fasting TG levels. We conclude that, when controlling for carbohydrate intake, higher saturated fat was associated with lower VLDL-C and TGs. This was not the case at higher intakes of carbohydrate. This has important implications for dietary advice aimed at reducing TG and VLDL-C levels.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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