A very low-fat diet is not associated with improved lipoprotein profiles in men with a predominance of large, low-density lipoproteins

Am J Clin Nutr. 1999 Mar;69(3):411-8. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/69.3.411.


Background: We found previously that men with a predominance of large LDL particles (phenotype A) consuming high-fat diets (40-46% fat) show less lipoprotein benefits of low-fat diets (20-24% fat) than do men with a high-risk lipoprotein profile characterized by a predominance of small LDL (phenotype B). Furthermore, one-third of men with phenotype A consuming a high-fat diet converted to phenotype B with a low-fat diet.

Objective: We investigated effects of further reduction in dietary fat in men with persistence of LDL subclass phenotype A during both high- and low-fat diets.

Design: Thirty-eight men who had shown phenotype A after 4-6 wk of both high- and low-fat diets consumed for 10 d a 10%-fat diet (2.7% saturates) with replacement of fat with carbohydrate and no change in cholesterol content or ratio of polyunsaturates to saturates.

Results: In 26 men, phenotype A persisted (stable A group) whereas 12 converted to phenotype B (change group). LDL cholesterol did not differ from previous values for 20-24%-fat diets in either group, whereas in the change group there were higher concentrations of triacylglycerol and apolipoprotein B; greater mass of HDL, large LDL-I, small LDL-III and LDL-IV, and HDL3; lower concentrations of HDL cholesterol, apolipoprotein A-I; and lower mass of large LDL-I and HDL2.

Conclusions: There is no apparent lipoprotein benefit of reduction in dietary fat from 20-24% to 10% in men with large LDL particles: LDL-cholesterol concentration was not reduced, and in a subset of subjects there was a shift to small LDL along with increased triacylglycerol and reduced HDL-cholesterol concentrations.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Diet, Fat-Restricted*
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Lipids / blood
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / blood*
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / classification
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / genetics
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phenotype


  • Dietary Fats
  • Lipids
  • Lipoproteins, LDL
  • Cholesterol