Regulation of apolipoprotein B-containing lipoproteins by dietary soluble fiber in guinea pigs

Maria Luz Fernandez, Marcela Vergara-Jimenez, Karin Conde, Tanya Behr, Ghada Abdel-Fattah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Dietary soluble fiber sources such as pectin, guar gum, or psyllium decrease plasma concentrations of low-density-lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in guinea pigs by distinct mechanisms, including increases in LDL apolipoprotein (apo) B turnover and/or decreases in LDL apo B flux (J Lipid Res 1995; 36:2394-404). The present studies were undertaken to test whether changes in the rates of very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) apo B secretion, VLDL conversion to LDL, and hepatic uptake of VLDL were related to the cholesterol-lowering actions of these soluble fibers. Guinea pigs were fed (by wt) 12.5% pectin, 12.5% guar gum, 7.5% psyllium, or a control diet containing cellulose as the fiber source. Plasma cholesterol concentrations were significantly lower in guinea pigs fed pectin, guar gum, and psyllium by 42%, 46%, and 35%, respectively (P < 0.001), compared with those animals fed the control diet, whereas plasma triacylglycerol concentrations were lower only with guar gum intake. The secretion rate of triacylglycerol, determined after Triton was injected to block VLDL catabolism, was not different among dietary treatment groups whereas the secretion rate of apo B was lower with pectin, guar gum, and psyllium intakes (P < 0.01). In addition, pectin, guar gum, and psyllium significantly altered the composition of newly secreted VLDLs by increasing the number of triacylglycerol and phospholipid molecules in the secreted lipoprotein, indicating the presence of larger nascent VLDLs. In contrast, the average particle diameter of mature VLDLs as determined by electron microscopy was smaller in the dietary soluble-fiber groups in the following order: pectin < psyllium < guar gum. Plasma lecithin cholesteryl acyltransferase and cholesteryl ester transfer protein activities were lower with intake of pectin, guar gum, and psyllium (P < 0.01). Injection of radiolabeled lipoproteins indicated that pectin, guar gum, and psyllium intakes resulted in more rapid VLDL and LDL apo B turnover and lower LDL apo B flux in guinea pigs fed guar gum and psyllium. These results suggest that the secretion rate of apo B, compositional changes in lipoproteins occurring in the intravascular compartment, and up-regulation of LDL receptors- associated with faster LDL apo B turnover rates-are secondary metabolic responses induced by dietary fiber that contribute to the lowering of plasma cholesterol concentrations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)814-822
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1997


  • Apolipoprotein B secretion
  • cholesteryl ester transfer protein
  • guar gum
  • guinea pig
  • lecithin-cholesterol acyltransferase
  • low-density-lipoprotein turnover
  • pectin
  • psyllium
  • very-low-density-lipoprotein metabolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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