Dyslipidemia is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Dietary fatty-acid composition regulates lipids and lipoprotein metabolism and may confer CVD benefit. This review updates understanding of the effect of dietary fatty-acids on human lipoprotein metabolism. In elderly participants with hyperlipidemia, high n-3 polyunsaturated fatty-acids (PUFA) consumption diminished hepatic triglyceride-rich lipoprotein (TRL) secretion and enhanced TRL to low-density lipoprotein (LDL) conversion. n-3 PUFA also decreased TRL-apoB-48 concentration by decreasing TRL-apoB-48 secretion. High n-6 PUFA intake decreased very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations by up-regulating VLDL lipolysis and uptake. In a study of healthy subjects, the intake of saturated fatty-acids with increased palmitic acid at the sn-2 position was associated with decreased postprandial lipemia. Low medium-chain triglyceride may not appreciably alter TRL metabolism. Replacing carbohydrate with monounsaturated fatty-acids increased TRL catabolism. Trans-fatty-acid decreased LDL and enhanced high-density lipoprotein catabolism. Interactions between APOE genotype and n-3 PUFA in regulating lipid responses were also described. The major advances in understanding the effect of dietary fatty-acids on lipoprotein metabolism has centered on n-3 PUFA. This knowledge emphasizes the importance of regulating lipoprotein metabolism as a mode to improve plasma lipids and potentially CVD risk. Additional studies are required to better characterize the cardiometabolic effects of other dietary fatty-acids.
Keywords: cardiovascular disease; dietary fatty acids; dyslipidemia; lipoprotein metabolism.