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Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care:
doi: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e3283545a6d
CARBOHYDRATES: Edited by Luc Tappy and Bettina Mittendorfer

Regulation of low-density lipoprotein subfractions by carbohydrates

Gerber, Philipp A.; Berneis, Kaspar

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Abstract

Purpose of review: This article aims at reviewing the recent findings that have been made concerning the crosstalk of carbohydrate metabolism with the generation of small, dense low-density lipoprotein (LDL) particles, which are known to be associated with an adverse cardiovascular risk profile.

Recent findings: Studies conducted during the past few years have quite unanimously shown that the quantity of carbohydrates ingested is associated with a decrease of LDL particle size and an increase in its density. Conversely, diets that aim at a reduction of carbohydrate intake are able to improve LDL quality. Furthermore, a reduction of the glycaemic index without changing the amount of carbohydrates ingested has similar effects. Diseases with altered carbohydrate metabolism, for example, type 2 diabetes, are associated with small, dense LDL particles. Finally, even the kind of monosaccharide the carbohydrate intake consists of is important concerning LDL particle size: fructose has been shown to alter the LDL particle subclass profile more adversely than glucose in many recent studies.

Summary: LDL particle quality, rather than its quantity, is affected by carbohydrate metabolism, which is of clinical importance, in particular, in the light of increased carbohydrate consumption in today's world.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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