High dietary NaCl increases cholesterol and coronary atherosclerosis in cholesterol-fed rabbits

John C. Lee, Victoria A. Rowe, Craig D. Thatcher, D. Phillip Sponenberg D.V.M., Geoffrey K. Geoffrey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is little knowledge in the literature concerning the possibility of interaction between dietary NaCl and cholesterol intake in the genesis of atherosclerosis in either humans or animals. For 12 weeks rabbits were fed a control diet containing low cholesterol (61 ppm) or a control diet supplemented with high cholesterol (0.5%), or with high NaCl (1%), or with high cholesterol (0.5%) and NaCl (1%). After 4 weeks on these diets, the rabbits fed the diet high in both NaCl and cholesterol had significantly increased plasma cholesterol levels compared to those receiving cholesterol treatment alone. However, by 12 weeks the plasma cholesterol levels in both groups were almost identical. Plasma triglyceride levels were higher and coronary atherosclerosis was significantly greater in rabbits fed both high cholesterol and high NaCl than in rabbits fed high cholesterol alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)413-419
Number of pages7
JournalNutrition Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1988
Externally publishedYes


  • Dietary NaCl
  • cholesterol
  • coronary atherosclerosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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