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Concept: Blood lipids


In 1965, the Sugar Research Foundation (SRF) secretly funded a review in the New England Journal of Medicine that discounted evidence linking sucrose consumption to blood lipid levels and hence coronary heart disease (CHD). SRF subsequently funded animal research to evaluate sucrose’s CHD risks. The objective of this study was to examine the planning, funding, and internal evaluation of an SRF-funded research project titled “Project 259: Dietary Carbohydrate and Blood Lipids in Germ-Free Rats,” led by Dr. W.F.R. Pover at the University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom, between 1967 and 1971. A narrative case study method was used to assess SRF Project 259 from 1967 to 1971 based on sugar industry internal documents. Project 259 found a statistically significant decrease in serum triglycerides in germ-free rats fed a high sugar diet compared to conventional rats fed a basic PRM diet (a pelleted diet containing cereal meals, soybean meals, whitefish meal, and dried yeast, fortified with a balanced vitamin supplement and trace element mixture). The results suggested to SRF that gut microbiota have a causal role in carbohydrate-induced hypertriglyceridemia. A study comparing conventional rats fed a high-sugar diet to those fed a high-starch diet suggested that sucrose consumption might be associated with elevated levels of beta-glucuronidase, an enzyme previously associated with bladder cancer in humans. SRF terminated Project 259 without publishing the results. The sugar industry did not disclose evidence of harm from animal studies that would have (1) strengthened the case that the CHD risk of sucrose is greater than starch and (2) caused sucrose to be scrutinized as a potential carcinogen. The influence of the gut microbiota in the differential effects of sucrose and starch on blood lipids, as well as the influence of carbohydrate quality on beta-glucuronidase and cancer activity, deserve further scrutiny.

Concepts: Gut flora, Metabolism, Nutrition, Glucose, Triglyceride, Case study, Carbohydrate, Blood lipids


Evidence suggests the gut microbiome is involved in the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD), with the host-microbe interaction regulating immune and metabolic pathways. However, there was no firm evidence for associations between microbiota and metabolic risk factors for CVD from large-scale studies in humans. In particular, there was no strong evidence for association between CVD and aberrant blood lipid levels Objective: To identify intestinal bacteria taxa, whose proportions correlate with body mass index (BMI) and lipid levels, and to determine whether lipid variance can be explained by microbiota relative to age, gender and host genetics.

Concepts: Immune system, Archaea, Bacteria, Gut flora, Metabolism, Nutrition, Body mass index, Blood lipids


Dyslipidemia is an important and common cardiovascular risk factor in the general population. The lipid-lowering effects of turmeric and curcumin are unconfirmed. We performed a meta-analysis to assess the efficacy and safety of turmeric and curcumin in lowering blood lipids in patients at risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Concepts: Epidemiology, Medical statistics, Blood vessel, The Canon of Medicine, Cardiovascular disease, Randomized controlled trial, Avicenna, Blood lipids


Curcumin is a polyphenolic natural compound with diverse and attractive biological activities. There has been in-vitro, preclinical and clinical evidence on the cardioprotective and lipid-lowering effects of curcumin. The present review aimed to systematically review and meta-analyze current clinical evidence on the effects of curcumin supplementation on blood lipids.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Antioxidant, Evidence-based medicine, Systematic review, Randomized controlled trial, Avicenna, Meta-analysis, Blood lipids


Recent studies have demonstrated a relationship between fructose consumption and risk of developing metabolic syndrome. Mechanisms by which dietary fructose mediates metabolic changes are poorly understood. This study compared the effects of fructose, glucose and sucrose consumption on post-postprandial lipemia and low grade inflammation measured as hs-CRP.

Concepts: Inflammation, Protein, Nutrition, Enzyme, Fat, Fructose, Sucrose, Blood lipids


Environmental exposures, including smoking, hormone-related factors, and metabolic factors, have been implicated in the etiology of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). A previous study has indicated that blood lipid levels may influence the development of RA. The objective of this study was to investigate the impact of serum total cholesterol and triglycerides on the risk of RA in a prospective study.

Concepts: Cholesterol, Nutrition, Fatty acid, Rheumatoid arthritis, Triglyceride, Lipoprotein, Steroid, Blood lipids


Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Until recently, reducing dietary cholesterol has been a part of the American Heart Association (AHA) and American College of Cardiology (ACC) guidelines on lifestyle management, despite inconclusive evidence to support the recommendation. Considering eggs are a rich source of dietary cholesterol (typically containing 141-234 mg per egg), individuals with increased risk for CVD are advised not to consume eggs. Furthermore, based on the 2012 AHA/ACC guidelines, individuals with lower risk for CVD have previously been advised to avoid consuming eggs due to the high content of dietary cholesterol. Rather than strictly limiting cholesterol intake, the AHA and ACC guidelines now recommend dietary patterns that emphasize fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, poultry, fish, and nuts as an approach to favorably alter blood lipid levels. Of note, the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans have removed the recommendation of limiting cholesterol intake to no more than 300 mg per day; however, the guidelines advise that individuals should eat as little dietary cholesterol as possible while consuming a healthy eating pattern. The purpose of this review is to summarize the documented health risks of egg consumption in individuals with low and high risk for CVD and determine whether current recommendations are warranted based on the available literature. We also aim to provide guidance for future studies that will help further elucidate the health modulating effect of eggs.

Concepts: Health, Nutrition, Risk, United States, Milk, Egg yolk, Lecithin, Blood lipids


Recently attention has been drawn to the health impacts of time spent engaging in sedentary behaviors. While many studies have investigated general physical activity (PA) in relation to blood lipid levels, the current study aimed to examine the intensity of activity, including sedentary behavior time, and time spent engaging in moderate and intense PA, with concentrations of HDL and LDL-cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglycerides.

Concepts: Cholesterol, Psychology, Atherosclerosis, Cardiovascular disease, Low-density lipoprotein, Lipid disorders, Triglyceride, Blood lipids


It is generally accepted that weight loss has significant physiological benefits, such as reduced risk of diabetes, lowered blood pressure and blood lipid levels. However, few behavioural and dietary interventions have investigated psychological benefit as the primary outcome. Hence, systematic review methodology was adopted to evaluate the psychological outcomes of weight loss following participation in a behavioural and/or dietary weight loss intervention in overweight/obese populations. 36 studies were selected for inclusion and were reviewed. Changes in self-esteem, depressive symptoms, body image and health related quality of life (HRQoL) were evaluated and discussed. Where possible, effect sizes to indicate the magnitude of change pre- to post- intervention were calculated using Hedges' g standardised mean difference. The results demonstrated consistent improvements in psychological outcomes concurrent with and sometimes without weight loss. Improvements in body image and HRQoL (especially vitality) were closely related to changes in weight. Calculated effect sizes varied considerably and reflected the heterogeneous nature of the studies included in the review. Although the quality of the studies reviewed was generally acceptable, only 9 out of 36 studies included a suitable control/comparison group and the content, duration of intervention and measures used to assess psychological outcomes varied considerably. Further research is required to improve the quality of studies assessing the benefits of weight loss to fully elucidate the relationship between weight loss and psychological outcomes.

Concepts: Nutrition, Systematic review, Quality of life, Effect size, Meta-analysis, Intervention, Outcome, Blood lipids


Most genome-wide association studies have been of European individuals, even though most genetic variation in humans is seen only in non-European samples. To search for novel loci associated with blood lipid levels and clarify the mechanism of action at previously identified lipid loci, we used an exome array to examine protein-coding genetic variants in 47,532 East Asian individuals. We identified 255 variants at 41 loci that reached chip-wide significance, including 3 novel loci and 14 East Asian-specific coding variant associations. After a meta-analysis including >300,000 European samples, we identified an additional nine novel loci. Sixteen genes were identified by protein-altering variants in both East Asians and Europeans, and thus are likely to be functional genes. Our data demonstrate that most of the low-frequency or rare coding variants associated with lipids are population specific, and that examining genomic data across diverse ancestries may facilitate the identification of functional genes at associated loci.

Concepts: Gene, Genetics, Coronary artery disease, Heart, Artery, Asia, East Asia, Blood lipids