A study was carried out to determine the effect of the level and type of dietary fat on the concentration of cholesterol and beta lipoproteins in the sera of Cebus monkeys. Three groups of monkeys were fed isocaloric diets containing a fixed ratio of alpha protein and cholesterol to calories but with different amounts of corn oil and sucrose. Corn oil provided 10, 32, and 45 per cent of the calories in the three diets, and the level of sucrose was varied inversely. After 8 weeks the serum cholesterol and Sf 12 to 100 beta lipoprotein concentrations were significantly greater in the medium and high fat groups. When corn oil was decreased from 45 to 10 per cent of dietary calories and sucrose was increased, the serum cholesterol fell in all cases, and when the reverse change was made, the concentration of serum cholesterol increased.
Variation in dietary sucrose had no specific effect. Substitution of starch for sucrose with diets otherwise constant did not cause significant change in the concentration of serum cholesterol.
When monkeys fed corn oil diets at any of three levels were changed to hydrogenated cottonseed oil diets at the same level, the serum cholesterol and Sf 12 to 100 beta lipoproteins rose. However, hydrogenated cottonseed oil had no greater hypercholesteremic effect than did corn oil in the absence of dietary cholesterol. Diets containing lard with cholesterol also produced strikingly greater serum lipide responses than did diets based on corn oil and cholesterol. Hydrogenated cottonseed oil had a greater hypercholesteremic effect than an unhydrogenated cottonseed oil from the same lot.
Preliminary studies indicated that the saturated fats (hydrogenated cottonseed oil) produced the most striking elevation of serum cholesterol values (above controls fed corn oil) when casein was the dietary protein.