Off-campus WSU users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your WSU access ID and password, then click the "Off-campus Download" button below.

Non-WSU users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this thesis through interlibrary loan.

Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2011

Degree Type


Degree Name



Nutrition and Food Science

First Advisor

Pramod Khosla


Consumption of dietary saturated fats are a much debated topic of human nutrition and traditional recommendations have urged consumers to "avoid consuming saturated fat sources, such as butter and beef, to lower ones' risk of developing heart disease." Emerging evidence however suggests that saturated fat consumption may not adversely affect cholesterol profiles when compared to carbohydrates. 90 Golden Syrian hamsters where fed one of six diets (60%LM, 45%LM, 30%LM, 21%Control, 30%PA, 45%PA) ad-libitum for 7 weeks to achieve a weight gain state. 48 hamsters were then sacrificed for analysis while the remaining 42 were redistributed into 4 diet groups (60%LM, 21%Control, 30%PA, 45%PA) and fed a 40% calorically restricted diet for 6 weeks to achieve a state of weight loss. Fasting plasma cholesterol levels were measured (TG, TC, non-HDL-C, HDL-C) as well as liver lipids (TC, CE, FC) and hepatic mRNA was isolated and measured for relative fold changes in 8 cholesterol metabolism genes (LDL-R, HMG-CoA Reductase, ACAT, 7-Alpha Hydroxylase, ABCA1, ApoA1, CETP, SR-B1). Results showed plasma cholesterol profiles and the TC/HDL ratio of the 21%Control diet was similar to the 30%PA and 45%PA diets, suggesting replacement of carbohydrates with a palmitic/stearic formulation may pose no negative effects on cholesterol metabolism. During a weight loss state, plasma cholesterol profiles greatly improved regardless of the diet consumed, suggesting caloric intake to be the major determinate of cholesterol metabolism. Finally, hepatic gene expressions for genes involved in LDL-C and HDL-C metabolism appear to be generally uninfluenced by saturated fats, thus indicating regulation may be taking place at another level.

Off-campus Download