Variable responses to a hypercholesterol diet in a group of adult male volunteers

S. Fazio, F. Pelliccia, A. Vivenzio, A. Maietta, A. Zucca, R. Antonini, G. C. Urbinati, G. Ricci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In several animal species, the existence of subjects responding excessively of subnormally to high-cholesterol diets, in terms of increases of cholesterol blood level, has been known for a long time. This feature appears to be genetically determined. It has been suggested repeatedly that in man, too, dietary loading may elicit individually variable responses of cholesterol blood level. It is important to know if there are subjects with a constantly high or low response of their serum cholesterol to dietary intake. In order to verify the possibility of identifying subjects with frank hyperresponsiveness to a diet enriched with cholesterol and saturated fatty acids, even for a short time, 131 healthy adult male volunteers were enrolled and their lipid patterns assessed before and at the end of the experiment. The diet consisted in the addition to the habitual dietary intake of two eggs, 50 g butter and 100 g cheese, daily, for a total of about 1,050 kcal, 1,200 mg cholesterol, 55 g saturated and 37 g unsaturated (5.2 g polyunsaturated) fatty acids for a period of 10 days. The results obtained show that short-term moderate overloading can give rise in some subjects to substantial increases of cholesterol blood level, regardless, of the base-line (in our study 40% of the subjects had increases of between 18 and 99 mg/dl). These findings not only confirm the need for limiting dietary intake of cholesterol and saturated fatty acids in subjects with hypercholesterolemia but suggest the advisability of extending this measure to the general population as well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-75
Number of pages7
JournalRivista di Cardiologia Preventiva e Riabilitativa
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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