Gender and hormonal status affect the hypolipidemic mechanisms of dietary soluble fiber in guinea pigs

Suheeta Roy, Sonia Vega-Lopez, Maria Luz Fernandez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to assess the effects of gender on the secondary mechanisms by which dietary soluble fiber lowers plasma LDL cholesterol. For that purpose, male, female and ovariectomized (to mimic menopause) guinea pigs (8-10 per group) were allocated to two dietary treatments. Diets were identical in composition except for the fiber source: the control diet contained 10 g/100 of cellulose and 2.5 g/100 g of guar gum, while the soluble fiber (SF) diet contained 5 g/100 of psyllium, 5 g/100 of pectin and 2.5 g/100 g of guar gum. SF intake resulted in 44% lower plasma LDL cholesterol, 64% lower ape B and 22% lower plasma triacylglycerol (TAG) concentrations (P < 0.01) compared to guinea pigs fed the control diet. However, ovariectomized guinea pigs had higher plasma cholesterol, ape B and TAG concentrations (P < 0.01) compared to males and females, even those fed SF. Plasma HDL-cholesterol was higher in females than in males (P < 0.05). LDL size, as measured by LDL composition and fast protein liquid chromatography, was larger in females than males. Guinea pigs fed SF had smaller LDL than controls. LDL susceptibility to oxidation was 80% lower in male and females fed the SF diet (P < 0.001) than in controls, while there was no effect of diet in ovariectomized guinea pigs. Hepatic free cholesterol and TAG were lower, and activities of 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase and cholesterol 7α-hydroxylase were higher in guinea pigs fed SF (P < 0.05) than in controls. These results indicate that gender plays an important role in the metabolic responses to dietary soluble fiber and that estrogen deprivation leads to a detrimental lipoprotein profile.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)600-607
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Dietary soluble fiber
  • Gender
  • Guinea pigs
  • LDL oxidation
  • Menopause

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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