Differential effects of simple vs. complex carbohydrates on VLDL secretion rates and HDL metabolism in the guinea pig

Maria Luz Fernandez, Ghada Abdel-Fattah, Donald J. McNamara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Guinea pigs were fed isocaloric diets containing 52% (w/w) carbohydrate, either sucrose or starch, to investigate effects of simple vs. complex carbohydrates on plasma VLDL and HDL metabolism. Plasma cholesterol concentrations were not different between dietary groups while plasma triacylglycerol (TAG) and VLDL cholesterol levels were significantly increased in animals fed the sucrose diet (P < 0.05). Hepatic VLDL TAG secretion rates measured following intravenous injection of Triton WR-1339 were not affected by carbohydrate type whereas the rate of apo B secretion was 1.9-fold higher in sucrose fed animals (P < 0.02). Nascent VLDL from the sucrose group contained less TAG per apo B suggesting that the higher plasma TAG in animals fed simple carbohydrates results from increased secretion of VLDL particles with lower TAG content. Sucrose fed animals exhibited higher concentrations of hepatic free cholesterol (P < 0.01) while hepatic TAG levels and acyl CoA:cholesterol acyltransferase (ACAT) activity were not different between groups. Plasma HDL cholesterol concentrations and composition, and plasma lecithin cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT) activity were not affected by diet yet there was a positive correlation between HDL cholesteryl ester content and LCAT activities (r = 0.70, P < 0.05). Hepatic membranes from the sucrose group had a higher hepatic HDL binding protein number (Bmax) with no changes in the dissociation constant (Kd). These results suggest that at the same carbohydrate energy intake, simple sugars induce modest changes in HDL metabolism while VLDL metabolism is affected at multiple sites, as indicated by the higher concentrations of hepatic cholesterol, dissociation in the synthesis rates of VLDL components, and compositional changes in nascent and mature VLDL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-38
Number of pages8
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA)/Lipids and Lipid Metabolism
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 28 1995


  • (Guinea pig)
  • HDL binding
  • Starch
  • Sucrose
  • VLDL composition
  • VLDL secretion rate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology


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