Comparative effects of emu and olive oil on aortic early atherosclerosis and associated risk factors in hypercholesterolemic hamsters

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The comparative cholesterol lowering and antiatherosclerotic properties of emu oil and olive oil were evaluated in four groups (n = 8) of hamsters fed a nonpurified diet containing either 10% coconut oil crude and refined, emu oil, and olive oil and 0.05% cholesterol (wt/wt) for 8 weeks. Hamsters fed the olive and emu oil diets had significantly lower concentrations of plasma total cholesterol (−31%, and −25%; P < 0.05, respectively) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) (−50%, and −41%; P < 0.05, respectively) compared to the coconut oil–fed hamsters, with no significant differences in plasma high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) or triacylglycerol (TAG) concentrations. Compared to the coconut oil–fed animals, hamsters fed the emu oil and olive oil–containing diets had reduced aortic cholesterol ester concentrations (−20% and −60%, respectively). The present study suggests that compared to a diet containing coconut oil, both emu oil and olive oil are capable of reducing aortic early atherosclerosis in hypercholesterolemic hamsters.

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