Male Wistar rats were fed cholesterol-free or cholesterol-enriched diets containing partially hydrogenated soybean oil with different levels of trans-fatty acids or unhydrogenated soybean oil at the 10% level. The linoleic acid content of hydrogenated fat diets was adjusted to 3.6% of the total energy. Hydrogenated fat diets contained 29% and 41%trans-acids, mainly as t-18:1. Trans-fats exerted no untoward effects on growth parameters, but increased liver weight. Dietary hydrogenated fats influenced neither the concentration nor composition of biliary steroids, irrespective of the presence or absence of cholesterol in the diet. In rats fed a cholesterol-free diet, daily fecal output of neutral and acidic steroids was enhanced by hydrogenated fats and the magnitude of augmentation was proportional to the dietary level of trans-fatty acids. The increased fecal steroid excretion corresponded to an increase in total excreta. Hydrogenated fats also tended to enhance bile acid excretion when feeding a cholesterol-enriched diet. The results suggest that dietary trans-fatty acids, in relation to cis-polyunsaturated fatty acids, provoke demonstrable change in steroid homeodynamics.
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