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The main purpose of this study is to measure variation in blood cholesterol levels in response to two diets containing different types of fats. Another aim is to identify those who show a cholesterol response (known as responders) to those who show little or no response (non-responders). Selected volunteers from this study will be given the opportunity to take-part in a similar follow-up study to determine in more detail the factors that influence the difference in blood cholesterol response to the type of fats eaten in these diets.

The type of fat that we eat plays an important role in the development of heart disease. Diets high in saturated fats (found mostly in animal products such as meat and dairy foods) are related to greater levels of blood cholesterol which increases the risk of developing heart disease, while diets high in unsaturated fats (found in vegetable oils) are related to lower blood cholesterol and reduced heart disease risk. As a result, reducing intake of saturated fat has been a key dietary guideline to prevent heart disease for over 30 years. However, the effect of saturated and unsaturated fat intake on blood cholesterol levels (and thus risk of heart disease) is highly variable between people. Very little is known about the factors that determine this variability in blood cholesterol levels between individuals, and the different ways in which people process fat and cholesterol in the body.

The aim of this study is to increase understanding of the factors that determine the variability in the blood cholesterol response to different fat intake between people. This will enable us to tailor dietary advice to individuals who are at the highest risk of developing heart disease, and who stand to gain the greatest health benefit from specific advice about their dietary fat intake.

Are you?

  • A healthy man aged between 30-65 years old
  • Have a BMI of between 19-32
  • Non-smoker
  • Drink no more than 14 units of alcohol
  • Can attend a screening visit and take part in an 8-week dietary intervention with products that you will be provided with.
  • Can attend 3 study visits at the University of Reading
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