Cholesterol is an integral component of cell membranes and acts as a precursor of bile acids and hormones. Cholesterol travels through the blood with the help of lipoproteins. These lipoproteins include low-density lipoprotein (LDL), high-density lipoprotein (HDL), and very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL). The LDL concentration in the blood is a representation of total cholesterol concentration due to its maximal binding effect.  Consequentially, this is one of the reasons why LDL levels are the primary targets of cholesterol lowering efforts. Cholesterol is a component of fat, where a fat molecule is made up of two smaller molecules called glycerol and fatty acids. Saturated fatty acids (SFA) are long chains of carbon atoms with single bonds between them. Examples of food containing high con...
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...eptors.  This will lead to an increase in concentration of blood cholesterol. Another cause for an increase in blood cholesterol concentration through intake of dietary SFA is the composition of the newly secreted lipoproteins. With a high saturated fat intake, the LDL’s become rich in cholesterol esters, leaving the triglycerides in the blood.  The use of non-human primates in studies have been pivotal in these developments due to the effects in humans being significantly less evident. One clinical trial including 7 healthy participants conducted in 1983 had similar results to the non-human trials. The trial reported that increasing cholesterol intake caused both an increase in LDL production as well as a decrease in LDL catabolism.  This is supportive of the theory that when LDL receptors decrease there’s an increase of LDL’s and VLDL’s in circulation.
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