Journal Article

Coconut Oil Affects Lipoprotein Composition and Structure of Neonatal Chicks

Mercedes Castillo, José H Hortal, Eduardo García-Fuentes, María F. Zafra and Eduardo García-Peregrín

in The Journal of Biochemistry

Published on behalf of The Japanese Biochemical Society

Volume 119, issue 4, pages 610-616
Published in print April 1996 | ISSN: 0021-924X
Published online April 1996 | e-ISSN: 1756-2651 | DOI:
Coconut Oil Affects Lipoprotein Composition and Structure of Neonatal Chicks

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Supplementation of 10 or 20% coconut oil in the diet for 1–2 weeks produced a significant hypercholesterolemia in neonatal chicks. Plasma triacylglycerol concentration significantly increased after the addition of 20% coconut oil for 2 weeks. These results show that newborn chicks are more sensitive to saturated fatty acids from coconut oil than adult animals. The effects of this saturated fat on lipoprotein composition were studied for the first 1-2 weeks of neonatal chick life. Coconut oil supplementation in the diet (20-) for 2 weeks increased cholesterol concentration in all the lipoprotein fractions, while 10- coconut oil only increased cholesterol in low-density and very-low-density lipoproteins, an increase that was significant after 1 week of treatment. Similar results were obtained for triacylglycerol concentration after 2 weeks of treatment. Changes in phospholipid and total protein levels were less profound. Coconut oil decreased low-density and very-low-density lipoprotein fluidity, measured as total cholesterol/phospholipid ratio. Changes in esterified cholesterol/phospholipid and triacylglycerol/phospholipid ratios suggest that coconut oil affects the distribution of lipid components in the core of very-low-density particles. Likewise, the esterified cholesterol/triacylglycerol ratio was clearly increased in the low-density, and especially in the very-low-density, fraction after the first week of coconut oil feeding. Our results show that neonatal chick provides a suitable model in which to study the role of very-low-density lipoproteins in atherogenesis and the rapid response to saturated fatty acids with 12–14 carbons.

Keywords: atherogenesis; coconut oil; hypercholesterolemia; lipoprotein; neonatal chick

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Biochemistry

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