alexa Influence of certain dietary fibers on serum and tissue cholesterol levels in rats.


Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences

Author(s): Tsai AC, Elias J, Kelley JJ, Lin RS, Robson JR

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Abstract Pectin, carragheenan, agar gum arabic, cellulose and wheat bran were each fed to rats at a level of 5 to 7\% to examine their effect on serum, liver and tissue cholesterol levels. Diets (casein-sucrose diet containing 10-15\% soybean oil, or skim milk-wheat flour diet containing 10-15\% soybean oil) supplemented with either 0, 0.2, or 0.5\% cholesterol were used to test the possibly dietary interactions. Among the fibers tested, pectin displayed the most hypocholesterolemic effect. In some experiments, pectin lowered the level of cholesterol in the serum, liver, and aorta, but it elevated body cholesterol levels. Carragheenan was inconsistent in lowering serum cholesterol levels and tended to increase liver and carcass cholesterol levels. These results probably suggest that pectin and carragheenan can affect the distribution of cholesterol within the body. Gum arabic and agar did not lower serum cholesterol levels and in one case gum arabic elevated them. Furthermore, in some experiments they elevated liver body cholesterol levels. It appears that feeding of gum arabic and agar probably resulted in an expansion of the whole body cholesterol pool. Feeding of wheat bran or cellulose had no significant effect on either serum or liver cholesterol levels. The study indicates that the effect of dietary fiber is dependent on the composition of the diet. Furthermore, while some fibers such as pectin may exhibit a hypocholesterolemic effect in rats, other fibers such as gum arabic and agar may actually elevate serum or tissue cholesterol levels.
This article was published in J Nutr and referenced in Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences

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