Rats were fed a hypercholesterolemic diet (5% lard, 0.5% cholesterol, and 0.25% sodium cholate) containing 5% of dietary phospholipid as safflower phospholipid (SAP), soybean phospholipid (SOP), or egg yolk phospholipid (EGP), or 5% of soybean oil (SO) as a control for 4 weeks. The concentrations of plasma cholesterol were significantly higher in rats fed the EGP diet than those of the other diets. Similarly, the concentrations of chylomicron plus very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) cholesterol were higher in rats fed the EGP diet. The phospholipid diets induced a significant increase of high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol in comparision with the SO diet. The concentrations of liver cholesterol were significantly lower in rats fed the phospholipid diets than those of the SO diet. Among phospholipid-fed rats, the SAP and SOP diets decreased the concentrations of liver cholesterol compared with the EGP diet. The activity of plasma lecithin-cholesterol acyl-transferase (LCAT) was significantly increased in rats fed the phos-pholipid diets. The phospholipid diets caused an enhanced excretion of neutral steroids into feces. Among phospholipid-fed rats, the SAP and SOP diets increased the excretion of fecal neutral steroids compared with the EGP diet. The fatty acid composition of HDL phospholipid was slightly reflected by the major dietary fat source. These results suggest that SAP and SOP inhibit markedly the absorption of dietary cholesterol in the small intestine of hypercholesterolemic rats and that the effect of SAP and SOP on plasma cholesterol metabolism may be different from that of EGP.
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