Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Date of Award

January 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name



Nutrition and Food Science

First Advisor

Kai - Lin Catherine Jen


Animal fats are known to cause elevated blood total and low-density- lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels in humans and animals. This study was designed to investigate the effects of both the quality (coconut oil and a modified beef tallow with reduced saturated fatty acid content) and quantity (low and high) of dietary fat in body weight regulation and alteration of blood cholesterol levels in an animal model. Forty two male Wister rats were randomly divided into 4 groups: Control Low Fat (CLF, n=10), Control High Fat (CHF, n=10), Modified Low Fat (MLF, n=11), and Modified High Fat (MLF, n=11). They were fed modified AIN -93M purified rodent diet with low fat (40gm/kg) 30gm/kg coconut oil, 10gm/kg soybean oil , high fat (240gm/kg) 230gm/kg coconut oil, 10gm/kg soybean oil and modified low fat (40gm/kg) 30gm/kg modified beef tallow, 10gm/kg soybean oil, modified high fat (240gm/kg) 230gm/kg modified beef tallow, 10gm/kg soybean oil for ten weeks . Body weight, body fat content, blood lipid contents and hormones related to obesity and insulin sensitivity were determined. CHF group (527±46) had significantly higher body weight than the MHF group (427±46). Body fat % was significantly higher among CHF (8.0±2.6) group than rest of the groups. Our results showed no significant differences in energy intake among the 4 groups (p>.05). No significant difference was observed among the groups with respect to total cholesterol, glucose. Control fat groups (51.9±8.0) were more insulin sensitive than the modified fat groups944.5±10.8). MHF (4.1±1.7) had significantly lower leptin than CLF,CHF and MLF groups. Adiponectin levels were significantly increased for modified groups (8.81±2.14) compare to the control fat groups (7.41±1.9). In conclusion, this modified beef fat had the least adverse effects compared with other groups and was not hypercholesterolaemic and did not induce obesity when it is given to a high fat diet.

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