The cholesterolemic effects of dietary fatty acids have been extensively studied. The saturated fatty acids Ci2:o, C14:0, and C16:0 have a hypercholester-olemic effect, whereas Cig:0 has been shown to have a neutral effect. Monounsaturated and polyunsatu-rated fatty acids in their most common cis configuration are hypocholesterolemic in comparison with saturated fatty acids. The effects of trans fatty acids on lipid levels are under active investigation. Our current knowledge shows that their effect is intermediate between saturated and unsaturated fats. The effect of dietary cholesterol on lipoprotein levels is highly controversial. This may be due in part to the dramatic interindividual variation in response to this dietary component. Specific effects of dietary fats and cholesterol on each lipoprotein fraction are the focus of other articles and they are only briefly summarized below and in Table 3.
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