Replacing dairy fat with rapeseed oil causes rapid improvement of hyperlipidaemia: a randomized controlled study

J Intern Med. 2011 Oct;270(4):356-64. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2796.2011.02383.x. Epub 2011 May 9.


Background: Rapeseed oil (RO), also known as canola oil, principally contains the unsaturated fatty acids 18:1n-9, 18:2n-6 and 18:3n-3 and may promote cardiometabolic health.

Objective: To investigate the effects on lipoprotein profile, factors of coagulation and insulin sensitivity of replacing a diet rich in saturated fat from dairy foods (DF diet) with a diet including RO-based fat (RO diet).

Design: During a 2×3-week randomized, controlled, cross-over trial, 20 free-living hyperlipidaemic subjects were provided with isocaloric test diets that differed in fat composition alone. Blood lipoprotein profile, coagulation and fibrinolytic factors and insulin sensitivity (euglycaemic clamp) were determined before and after the dietary intervention.

Results: All subjects completed the study, and compliance was high according to changes in serum fatty acids. The RO diet, but not the DF diet, reduced the levels of serum cholesterol (-17%), triglycerides (-20%) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (-17%), cholesterol/high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol ratio (-21%), apolipoprotein (apo) B/apo A-I ratio (-4%) and factor VII coagulant activity (FVIIc) (-5%) from baseline. These changes were significantly different between the diets (P=0.05 to P<0.0001), except for FVIIc (P=0.1). The RO diet, but not the DF diet, modestly increased serum lipoprotein(a) (+6%) and tended to increase the glucose disappearance rate (K-value, +33%). HDL cholesterol, insulin sensitivity, fibrinogen and tissue plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 levels did not change from baseline or differ between the two diets.

Conclusions: In a diet moderately high in total fat, replacing dairy fat with RO causes a rapid and clinically relevant improvement in serum lipoprotein profile including lowering of triglycerides in hyperlipidaemic individuals.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Dairy Products*
  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated / administration & dosage*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Fatty Acids / blood*
  • Fatty Acids, Monounsaturated
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperlipidemias / diet therapy*
  • Lipoproteins / blood
  • Male
  • Plant Oils / administration & dosage*
  • Rapeseed Oil
  • Sweden


  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated
  • Fatty Acids
  • Fatty Acids, Monounsaturated
  • Lipoproteins
  • Plant Oils
  • Rapeseed Oil
  • Cholesterol