Hypocholesterolemic Effects of Soybean Lecithin in Cholesterol-Fed Rats

  • Moon Min-Sun (Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, Ewha Womans University) ;
  • Kwun In-Sook (Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Andong National University) ;
  • Kim Yangha (Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, Ewha Womans University)
  • Published : 2005.11.01


The present study was performed to elucidate the hypocholesterolemic action of lecithin on the diet-induced hypercholesterolemia in rats. Male Sprague-Dawley rats (n=24) were fed lecithin-free (control) diet or diets containing $2\%\;or\;5\%$ lecithin for 4 weeks. Hypercholesterolemia was induced by adding $1\%$ cholesterol and $0.5\%$ cholic acid to all diets. No difference was found in food intake and body weight gain among groups. The lecithin treated groups showed significant improvement in the plasma levels of total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol (p<0.05) compared to the control group, while the plasma triacylglyceride was not significantly affected 1he atherogenic index and HDL-cholesterol level were decreased in the lecithin groups. The diets with $2\%\;or\;5\%$ lecithin significantly decreased the activity of cholestetyl ester transfer protein (CETP) by $14\%\;or\;17\%$, respectively. Also, lecithin diets increased the activity of lecithin: cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT). These results suggest that lecithin accounts for the hypocholesterolemic effect due to the decreased CETP activity and increased LCAT activity.


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