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What is the association between dietary stearic acid and LDL cholesterol? (DGAC 2010)


Moderate evidence from a systematic review indicates that when stearic acid is substituted for other saturated fatty acids (SFA) or trans fatty acids, plasma LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) levels are decreased; when substituted for carbohydrates, LDL-C levels are unchanged; and when substituted for monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) or polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), LDL-C levels are increased. Therefore, the impact of stearic acid replacement of other energy sources is variable regarding LDL-C, and the potential impact of changes in stearic acid intake on cardiovascular disease risk remains unclear.


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Research Recommendations

Examine stearic acid for its benefits as a solid fat, in contrast to liquid oils high in MUFA and PUFA; include other potential metabolic effects of stearic acid, such as inflammation and coagulation.

Evidence Summaries

What is the evidence that supports this conclusion? For more information, click on the Evidence Summary link below.
What are the effects of dietary stearic acid on LDL cholesterol?

Search Plan and Results

What were the search parameters and selection criteria used to identify literature to answer this question? For more information, click on the Search Plan and Results link below.
Stearic acid