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Effect of Diet High in Coconut Oil on Cardiovascular Disease Risk in ApoE Knockout and Wild Type Mice (Mus musculus)

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Technical Report

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60 MDG CIF Travis AFB United States

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Objective We evaluated the risk of cardiovascular disease in both control and proatherosclerotic mice consuming diets high in coconut oil. Methods The mice were weighed and randomly assigned to receive a custom diet with either coconut oil or milk fat. Both diets were formulated to have the same amount of protein, carbohydrates, and fat and were provided ad libitum. The mice and the food were weighed weekly. Blood samples were pooled by cage and analyzed to determine triglycerides, HDLLDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol. Aorta and liver specimens were routinely processed and evaluated by a pathologist blinded to treatment. Results There were no differences in the average weight gain or amount of diet consumed regardless of genotype or diet consumed. Similarly, there were no differences in total cholesterol, HDL, and triglyceride in any of the groups. Statistically significant differences were seen between knockout and wildtype mice in aorta score regardless of diet, and in liver score with coconut oil diet. Statistically significant differences by diet were seen in aorta score for knockout mice and in liver score for wildtype mice, but scores were higher for mice consuming milk fat than for those consuming coconut oil. Conclusion Milk fat consumption resulted in significant increases in aorta scores among knockout mice and liver scores in wildtype mice. These results were unexpected. However, the clinical significance of the increased scores is unknown.

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  • Food, Food Service and Nutrition
  • Medicine and Medical Research

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