For a better understanding of the hyperlipidemic function of saturated fat, we have studied the comparative effects of diet supplementation with 10 and 20% coconut oil on the main lipid classes of chick plasma. Changes in fatty acid composition of free fatty acid and triglyceride fractions were parallel to that of the experimental diet. Thus, the increase in the percentages of 12:0 and 14:0 acids may contribute to the hypercholesterolemic effects of coconut oil feeding. Plasma phospholipids incorporated low levels of 12:0 and 14:0 acids whereas 18:0, the main saturated fatty acid of this fraction, also increased after coconut oil feeding. The percentage of 20:4 n-6 was higher in plasma phospholipids than in the other fractions and was significantly decreased by our dietary manipulations. Likewise, minor increases were found in the percentages of 12:0 and 14:0 acids in plasma cholesterol esters. However, the percentage of 18:2 acid significantly increased after coconut oil feeding. Our results show a relationship between fatty acid composition of diets and those of plasma free fatty acid and triglyceride fractions, whereas phospholipids and cholesterol esters are less sensitive to dietary changes.
Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part B 133(2), pp.277-279