Lipid metabolism: Edited by Jeffrey S. CohnDietary phospholipids, hepatic lipid metabolism and cardiovascular diseaseCohn, Jeffrey S; Wat, Elaine; Kamili, Alvin; Tandy, SallyAuthor Information Nutrition and Metabolism Group, Heart Research Institute, Sydney, Australia Correspondence to Dr Jeffrey S. Cohn, Group Leader, Nutrition and Metabolism Group, Heart Research Institute, 114 Pyrmont Bridge Road, Camperdown, NSW 2050, Australia Tel: +612 8208 8906; fax: +612 9565 5584; e-mail: [email protected] Current Opinion in Lipidology: June 2008 - Volume 19 - Issue 3 - p 257-262 doi: 10.1097/MOL.0b013e3282ffaf96 Buy Metrics Abstract Purpose of review An increasing number of studies in experimental animals suggest that dietary phospholipids might be of benefit in the treatment of fatty liver disease. This raises the possibility that synthetic or naturally occurring phospholipid isolates could be used as hepatoprotective nutraceuticals or functional foods. The aim of the present article is to review published data describing the beneficial effects of dietary phospholipids on hepatic lipid metabolism and their potential to affect atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. Recent findings Consistent results have been obtained supporting the concept that phospholipid from various sources (i.e., soybean, safflower, egg and fish roe) can reduce liver lipid levels. The primary site of action for this effect appears to be in the intestinal lumen, where dietary phospholipids are able to interfere with neutral sterol absorption. Results have also been obtained suggesting that dietary phospholipids can stimulate bile acid and cholesterol secretion. Additional work suggests that dietary phospholipids can have a beneficial effect on plasma lipid and lipoprotein levels. Summary The concept of using naturally occurring compounds such as phospholipid to treat or prevent hepatic steatosis is very attractive. Controlled human trials are, however, required to verify the efficacy of this approach. It is also important that additional research be conducted to determine the extent to which certain phospholipids have the ability to increase plasma HDL levels and potentially affect the onset or development of cardiovascular disease. © 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.