Why do polyunsaturated fatty acids lower serum cholesterol?

Am J Clin Nutr. 1985 Sep;42(3):560-3. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/42.3.560.


Replacement of saturated by polyunsaturated fatty acids in the diet may lower serum very low-density and low-density lipoprotein concentrations because the liver preferentially converts polyunsaturated fatty acids into ketone bodies instead of into very low-density lipoprotein triglycerides. Thus unlike saturated fatty acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids are transported to the tissues for oxidation without leaving a trail of lipoprotein remnants in the form of low-density lipoproteins.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cholesterol / blood*
  • Dietary Fats / pharmacology
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Ketone Bodies / biosynthesis
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / metabolism
  • Lipoproteins, VLDL / biosynthesis
  • Models, Biological


  • Dietary Fats
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated
  • Ketone Bodies
  • Lipoproteins, LDL
  • Lipoproteins, VLDL
  • Cholesterol