A systematic review of high-oleic vegetable oil substitutions for other fats and oils on cardiovascular disease risk factors: implications for novel high-oleic soybean oils

Adv Nutr. 2015 Nov 13;6(6):674-93. doi: 10.3945/an.115.008979. Print 2015 Nov.


High-oleic acid soybean oil (H-OSBO) is a trait-enhanced vegetable oil containing >70% oleic acid. Developed as an alternative for trans-FA (TFA)-containing vegetable oils, H-OSBO is predicted to replace large amounts of soybean oil in the US diet. However, there is little evidence concerning the effects of H-OSBO on coronary heart disease (CHD)(6) risk factors and CHD risk. We examined and quantified the effects of substituting high-oleic acid (HO) oils for fats and oils rich in saturated FAs (SFAs), TFAs, or n-6 (ω-6) polyunsaturated FAs (PUFAs) on blood lipids in controlled clinical trials. Searches of online databases through June 2014 were used to select studies that defined subject characteristics; described control and intervention diets; substituted HO oils compositionally similar to H-OSBO (i.e., ≥70% oleic acid) for equivalent amounts of oils high in SFAs, TFAs, or n-6 PUFAs for ≥3 wk; and reported changes in blood lipids. Studies that replaced saturated fats or oils with HO oils showed significant reductions in total cholesterol (TC), LDL cholesterol, and apolipoprotein B (apoB) (P < 0.05; mean percentage of change: -8.0%, -10.9%, -7.9%, respectively), whereas most showed no changes in HDL cholesterol, triglycerides (TGs), the ratio of TC to HDL cholesterol (TC:HDL cholesterol), and apolipoprotein A-1 (apoA-1). Replacing TFA-containing oil sources with HO oils showed significant reductions in TC, LDL cholesterol, apoB, TGs, TC:HDL cholesterol and increased HDL cholesterol and apoA-1 (mean percentage of change: -5.7%, -9.2%, -7.3%, -11.7%, -12.1%, 5.6%, 3.7%, respectively; P < 0.05). In most studies that replaced oils high in n-6 PUFAs with equivalent amounts of HO oils, TC, LDL cholesterol, TGs, HDL cholesterol, apoA-1, and TC:HDL cholesterol did not change. These findings suggest that replacing fats and oils high in SFAs or TFAs with either H-OSBO or oils high in n-6 PUFAs would have favorable and comparable effects on plasma lipid risk factors and overall CHD risk.

Keywords: cardiovascular disease; fatty acids; high–oleic acid soybean oil; lipids; monounsaturated fatty acids; oleic acid; polyunsaturated fatty acids; randomized controlled trials.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Apolipoproteins B / blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood*
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage*
  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated / administration & dosage
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-6 / administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oleic Acid / administration & dosage*
  • Risk Factors
  • Soybean Oil / administration & dosage
  • Soybean Oil / chemistry*
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Apolipoproteins B
  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Dietary Fats
  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-6
  • Lipids
  • Triglycerides
  • Oleic Acid
  • Soybean Oil
  • Cholesterol