Friday, 8 June 2018

Dietary cholesterol

Low-density Lipids (LDL) are sensitive to changes in dietary fat composition. The amount of cholesterol, trans fatty acids, unsaturated fatty acids in daily diet can change the level of lipoproteins in blood. But, for the majority of the people, the blood cholesterol levels are rather insensitive to the dietary cholesterol intake. Dietary cholesterol contributions are only 33% the total cholesterol content in the body. Also, the changes are influenced differently for every individual, and just for 25-33% of the population a raise in dietary cholesterol will trigger a raise in the cholesterol blood levels. The relation between dietary and blood cholesterol is determined genetically via fractional cholesterol absorption - the proportion of the cholesterol absorbed in intestines can vary between 30-80% at humans.

Dietary guidelines of the past suggested 300 mg daily, but today the researchers said that the cholesterol is much less of a concern. Anyway, the high intake can lead to cardiovascular disease to some segments of the population, such as people with diabetes type 2.

What is the long term strategy?

Avoid cholesterol rich foods like eggs, organ meats, shellfish. Increase the intake of fibers - pectins, psyllium, betaglucans and inulin. Plant sterols and stanols decrease the cholesterol absorption (and they are today added to yogurt, milk and spreads to create functional foods with lower cholesterol).

Different people react different to dietary changes, and the fiber pill relation to the cholesterol levels is not a one size fill all strategy. The latest approach is called personalized nutrition - the possibility to adjust nutritional advice in relation with the person response to dietary changes.

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