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Lipids and cardiovascular/metabolic health

Corn oil intake favorably impacts lipoprotein cholesterol, apolipoprotein and lipoprotein particle levels compared with extra-virgin olive oil



Corn oil (CO) and extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) are rich sources of unsaturated fatty acids (UFA), but UFA profiles differ among oils, which may affect lipoprotein levels.


The objective of this study was to assess the effects of CO versus EVOO intake on fasting lipoprotein and subfraction cholesterol levels, apolipoprotein (apo) A1, apo B, and low-density lipoprotein particle concentrations in men and women.


As part of a weight maintenance diet, men and women were provided with food items prepared with 54 g per day of CO or EVOO (21-day treatment, 21-day washout) in a randomized, double-blind, controlled-feeding, crossover trial. Fasting lipoprotein cholesterol and related variables were determined with density gradient ultracentrifugation.


Among the 54 completers, CO reduced total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (VLDL-C), non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (non-HDL-C), apo B and LDL particle concentration to a greater extent compared with EVOO intake. Changes in LDL-C and VLDL-C contributed to the larger reduction in non-HDL-C with CO compared with EVOO intake (−0.39 mmol/l vs −0.04 mmol/l; P<0.001). The larger reduction in LDL-C by CO intake was attributable to changes (P<0.05) caused by CO vs EVOO in large LDL1+2-C (−0.22 mmol/l) and intermediate-density lipoprotein cholesterol (−0.12 mmol/l). HDL-C responses did not differ between treatments, but apo A1 increased more with EVOO compared with CO intake (4.6 versus 0.7 mg/dl, respectively, P=0.016).


CO intake reduced atherogenic lipoprotein cholesterol and particle concentrations to a larger extent than did EVOO, which may have implications for cardiovascular disease risk.

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We gratefully acknowledge Marjorie Huebner of Midwest Biomedical – Center for Metabolic and Cardiovascular Research for the assistance with statistical analyses.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to K C Maki.

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Competing interests

This work was funded by ACH Food Companies, Inc. (Oakbrook, IL) and PepsiCo, Inc. (Purchase, NY). Sponsor role included review and comment on study protocol and manuscript. Full editorial control remained with the investigators. The views expressed in this manuscript are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of PepsiCo Inc. or ACH Food Companies, Inc.

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Supplementary Information accompanies this paper on European Journal of Clinical Nutrition website

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Maki, K., Lawless, A., Kelley, K. et al. Corn oil intake favorably impacts lipoprotein cholesterol, apolipoprotein and lipoprotein particle levels compared with extra-virgin olive oil. Eur J Clin Nutr 71, 33–38 (2017).

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