Author(s): Whittaker MH, Frankos VH, Wolterbeek AP, WaalkensBerendsen DH
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Abstract Plant stanol esters are intended for use as an ingredient in food to reduce the absorption of cholesterol from the gastrointestinal tract. Consumption of plant stanol esters has a demonstrated diet-derived public health benefit, as shown by numerous clinical studies. Plant stanol esters are ring-saturated analogs of common dietary sterols that are transesterified with fatty acids from vegetable oils such as canola oil. The reproductive and developmental toxicity of plant stanol esters was investigated in male and female Wistar rats during F0 and F1 generations using dietary concentrations of 1.75, 4.38, and 8.76\% stanol esters (equivalent to 1, 2.5, and 5\% total stanols). No adverse treatment-related effects were noted on reproductive performance of male or female rats in any dose group. Increased food consumption was observed in high-dose F0 generation males throughout the entire premating period and in F1 males at specific time periods during the premating period. This increase in food consumption was also observed in F0 generation females (mid- and high-dose groups) and F1 generation females (low-, mid-, and high-dose groups) at specific time periods throughout the 10-week premating period. At different intervals throughout the gestation and lactation periods, increased food consumption was observed in F0 generation females of the mid- and high-dose groups, while increased food consumption was noted in F1 generation females of the mid- and high-dose groups during gestation, but not during lactation. Such increases in food consumption are expected as a result of the animals' attempt to compensate for the reduced caloric value of the test diet compared to controls. No adverse developmental effects were noted in F1 or F2 pups of the low- and mid-dose groups based on evaluation of the following parameters: litter size, pup mortality, pups weights, and sex ratio. However, a treatment-related effect on body weight and body weight change was observed in both F1 and F2 male and female pups of the high-dose group, particularly during the latter stages of lactation (postnatal days 14 and 21) in F1 pups, and during the majority of the lactation period (postnatal days 4-21). Lower body weight in the high-dose pups is attributed to a reduction in the caloric value of the test diet compared to control. The pups, unlike adult animals, are particularly sensitive to reductions in caloric value of feed since they are in a rapid growth phase of their development. It is likely that they could not increase their food consumption enough to adequately meet their caloric and nutritional needs. In conclusion, dietary concentrations of up to 4.38\% plant stanol esters (equivalent to 2.5\% total stanols in the diet) are not associated with adverse effects on reproduction, pup mortality, pup body weight, or pup body weight change. Copyright 1999 Academic Press.
This article was published in Regul Toxicol Pharmacol
and referenced in Journal of Veterinary Science & Technology