To investigate whether milk polar lipids (PL) impact human intestinal lipid absorption, metabolism, microbiota and associated markers of cardiometabolic health.
A double-blind, randomised controlled 4-week study involving 58 postmenopausal women was used to assess the chronic effects of milk PL consumption (0, 3 or 5 g-PL/day) on lipid metabolism and gut microbiota. The acute effects of milk PL on intestinal absorption and metabolism of cholesterol were assessed in a randomised controlled crossover study using tracers in ileostomy patients.
Over 4 weeks, milk PL significantly reduced fasting and postprandial plasma concentrations of cholesterol and surrogate lipid markers of cardiovascular disease risk, including total/high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol and apolipoprotein (Apo)B/ApoA1 ratios. The highest PL dose preferentially induced a decreased number of intestine-derived chylomicron particles. Also, milk PL increased faecal loss of coprostanol, a gut-derived metabolite of cholesterol, but major bacterial populations and faecal short-chain fatty acids were not affected by milk PL, regardless of the dose. Acute ingestion of milk PL by ileostomy patients shows that milk PL decreased cholesterol absorption and increased cholesterol-ileal efflux, which can be explained by the observed co-excretion with milk sphingomyelin in the gut.
The present data demonstrate for the first time in humans that milk PL can improve the cardiometabolic health by decreasing several lipid cardiovascular markers, notably through a reduced intestinal cholesterol absorption involving specific interactions in the gut, without disturbing the major bacterial phyla of gut microbiota.
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© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2019. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.
colonic microflora; lipid absorption; lipid metabolism; lipoprotein-cholesterol; nutrition
Gut. 2019 Jun 12. pii: gutjnl-2018-318155. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2018-318155. [Epub ahead of print]