The Role of Lipids in Human Nutrition

  • Michael I. Gurr


Lipid is the biochemist’s term for substances that dissolve readily in organic solvents but not in water. The layperson, concerned with what is in the foods that he or she eats, is more familiar with the term fat. The subtle distinctions between the biochemist’s lipids and the nutritionist’s fats are apparent in this chapter; however, lipid is used in discussing metabolism, whereas fat is more appropriate to use in discussing diets.


Linoleic Acid Saturated Fatty Acid Human Milk Essential Fatty Acid Cholesteryl Ester 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Allen, J. C., Hamilton, R. J., eds. (1989). Rancidity in Foods, 2nd ed. London: Applied Science.Google Scholar
  2. Astrup, A., et al. (1997). The role of low-fat diets and fat substitutes in body weight management: What have we learned from clinical studies? JAm Diet Assoc 97 (suppl. 7), S82 — S87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bjerve, K. S., Mostad, I. L., Thoresen, L. (1987). Alpha-linolenic acid deficiency in patients on long term gastric tube feeding: Estimation of linolenic acid and long chain unsaturated n-3 requirements in man. Am J Clin Nutr 45, 66–77.Google Scholar
  4. Blackburn, H. (1987). Epidemiological evidence for the causes and prevention of atherosclerosis. In Hypercholesterolaemia and Atherosclerosis: Pathogenesis and Prevention, pp. 53–98. Edited by D. Steinberg, J. M. Olefsky. New York: Churchill Livingstone.Google Scholar
  5. Blundell, J. E., MacDiarmid, J. I. (1997). Fat as a risk factor for overconsumption: Satiation, satiety, and patterns of eating. JAm Diet Assoc 97 (suppl. 7), S63 — S69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. British Nutrition Foundation (1992). Unsaturated Fatty Acids: Nutritional and Physiological Signifi- cance. The Report of the British Nutrition Foundation’s Task Force. London: Chapman, Hall.Google Scholar
  7. British Nutrition Foundation (1993). Diet and Heart Disease: A Round Table of Factors. Edited by M. Ashwell. London: British Nutrition Foundation.Google Scholar
  8. British Nutrition Foundation (1995). Trans Fatty Acids. The Report of the British Nutrition Foundation’s Task Force. London: British Nutrition Foundation.Google Scholar
  9. Bryan, J. (1997). T cells divide and rule in Gulf War syndrome. Biologist 44, 445.Google Scholar
  10. Burr, G. O., Burr, M. M. (1929). A new deficiency disease produced by rigid exclusion of fat from the diet. J Biol Chem 82, 345–367.Google Scholar
  11. Burr, M. L. et al. (1989). Effects of changes in fat, fish and fibre intakes on death and myocardial infarction: Diet and Reinfarction Trial (DART). Lancet II, 757–761.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Chow, C.K., ed. (1992). Fatty Acids in Foods and Their Health Implications. New York: Marcel Dekker.Google Scholar
  13. Clarke, S. D., Jump, D. B. (1993). Regulation of gene transcription by polyunsaturated fatty acids. Frog Lipid Res 32, 139–149.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Colditz, G. (1992). Economic costs of obesity. Am J Clin Nutr 55, 503S - 507S.Google Scholar
  15. Connor, W. E. et al. (1997). Should a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet be recommended for everyone? N Engl J Med 337, 562–566.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Department of Health (1991). Dietary reference values for food energy and nutrients for the United Kingdom. Report on Health and Social Subjects, 41. London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office.Google Scholar
  17. Department of Health (1994). Nutritional aspects of cardiovascular disease. Report on Health and Social Subjects, 28. London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office.Google Scholar
  18. Drewnowski, A. (1993). Human preferences for sugar and fat. In Appetite and Body Weight Regulation: Sugar, Fat and Macronutrient Substitutions, pp. 137–148. Edited by J. D. Fernstrom, G. D. Miller. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.Google Scholar
  19. Drewnowski, A., Popkin, B. M. (1997). The nutrition transition: New trends in global diet. Nutri Rev 55, 32–43.Google Scholar
  20. Eaton, S.B., Nelson, D.A. (1991). Calcium in evolutionary perspective. Am J Clin Nutr 54, 281S - 287S.Google Scholar
  21. Engelberg, H. (1992). Low serum cholesterol and suicide. Lancet 339, 727–729.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Field, F.J., Mathur, S.N. (1995). Intestinal lipoprotein synthesis and secretion. Prog Lipid Res 34, 185–198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Finley, J. W, et al. (1994). Caloric availability of SALATRIM in rats and humans. J Agric Food Chem 42, 495–499.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Flatt, J. P. (1988). Importance of nutrient balance in body weight regulation. Diabetes/Metab Rev 4, 571–581.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Foltin, R. W, et al. (1990). Caloric compensation for lunches varying in fat and carbohydrate content by humans in a residential laboratory. Am J Clin Nutr 52, 969–980.Google Scholar
  26. Garrow, J. S. , James, W. P. T. eds. (1993). Human Nutrition and Dietetics. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.Google Scholar
  27. Gey, K. E, Puska, P., Moser, U. K. (1991). Inverse correlation between plasma vitamin E and mortality from ischaemic heart disease in cross-cultural epidemiology. Am J Clin Nutr 53, 326S - 334S.Google Scholar
  28. Gillman, M. W, et al. (1997). Inverse association of dietary fat with development of ischemic stroke in men. JAMA 278, 2145–2150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Goedhart, A. C., Bindels, J. C. (1994). The composition of human milk as a model for the design of infant formulas: Recent findings and possible application. Nutri Res Rev 7, 1–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Griffin, B. A., Zampelas, A. (1995). Influence of dietary fatty acids on the atherogenic lipoprotein phenotype. Nutri Res Rev 8, 1–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Grundy, S. M., Denke, M. A. (1990). Dietary influences on serum lipids and lipoproteins. J Lipid Res 31, 1149–1172.Google Scholar
  32. Gunstone, E D., Harwood, J. L., Padley, E B., eds. (1994). The Lipid Handbook, 2nd ed. London: Chapman, Hall.Google Scholar
  33. Gurr, M. I. (1983). The role of lipids in the regulation of the immune system. Prog Lipid Res 22, 257–287.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Gurr, M. I. (1988). Lipids: Products of industrial hydrogenation, oxidation and heating. In Nutritional and Toxicological Aspects of Food Processing, pp. 149–155. Edited by R. Walker, E. Quattrucci. London: Taylor and Francis.Google Scholar
  35. Gurr, M. I. (1992a). Role of Fat in Food and Nutrition, 2nd ed. London: Elsevier Applied Science.Google Scholar
  36. Gurr, M. I. (1992b). Dietary lipids and coronary heart disease: Old evidence, new perspective. Prog Lipid Res 31, 195–243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Gurr, M.I. (1993). Polyunsaturated fatty acids of the n-3 family Influence on inflammatory disease. Lipid Technol, 5, 65–68.Google Scholar
  38. Gurr, M. I. (1996a). Dietary fatty acids with trans unsaturation. Nutr Res Rev 9, 259–279.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Gurr, M. I. (1996b). Fats and fattening: Can we fool the system? 2. Non-digestible fats. Lipid Technol 8, 62–64.Google Scholar
  40. Gurr, M. I. (1997a). Changes in blood lipids after a meal: Significance for health. Lipid Technol 9, 145–148.Google Scholar
  41. Gurr, M. I. (1997b). Lipids and nutrition. In Lipid Technologies and Applications, pp. 79–112. Edited by F. D. Gunstone, E. B. Padley. New York: Marcel Dekker.Google Scholar
  42. Gurr, M. I., Harwood, J. L. (1991). Lipid Biochemistry: An Introduction, 4th ed. London: Chapman, Hall.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Hansen, A. E., et al. (1958). Essential fatty acids in human nutrition: Clinical manifestations of human linoleic acid deficiency. J Nutri 66, 565–576.Google Scholar
  44. Hassam, A. G. (1985). The role of evening primrose oil in nutrition and disease. In The Role of Fats in Human Nutrition, pp. 84–100. Edited by E. B. Padley, J. Podmore. Chichester, England: Ellis Horwood.Google Scholar
  45. Hayes, J. R., et al. (1994). Review of triacylglycerol digestion, absorption and metabolism with respect to SALATRIM triacylglycerols. JAgric Food Chem 42, 474–483.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Hellerstein, M. K., et al. (1991). Measurement of de novo hepatic lipogenesis in humans using stable isotopes. J Clin Invest 87, 1841–1852.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Hibbeln, J. R., Salem, N. (1995). Dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids and depression: When cholesterol does not satisfy. Am J Clin Nutr 62, 1–9.Google Scholar
  48. Holland, B., et al. (1991). McCance and Widdowson s The Composition of Foods, 5th ed. Cambridge, England: Royal Society of Chemistry.Google Scholar
  49. Holman, R. T. (1970). Biological activities of and requirements for polyunsaturated fatty acids. Prog Chem Fats Other Lipids 9, 607–682.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Holman, R. T., Johnson, S. B. (1981). Changes in essential fatty acid profile of serum phospholipids in human disease. Prog Lipid Res 20, 67–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Holman, R T., Johnson, S. B., Hatch, T. E (1982). A case of human linolenic acid deficiency involving neurological abnormalities. Am J Clin Nutr 35, 617–623.Google Scholar
  52. Howell, W. H., et al. (1997). Plasma lipid and lipoprotein responses to dietary fat and cholesterol: A meta-analysis. Am J Clin Nutr 65, 1747–1764.Google Scholar
  53. Hulley, S. B., Walsh, J. M. B., Newman, T. B. (1992). Health policy on blood cholesterol: Time to change direction. Circulation 86, 1026–1029.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Ip, C., et al. eds. (1986). Dietary Fat and Cancer. New York: Alan R. Liss.Google Scholar
  55. Isles, C. G., et al. (1989). Plasma cholesterol, coronary heart disease and cancer in the Renfrew and Paisley survey. Br Med J 298, 920–924.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Jensen, R. G. (1996). The lipids in human milk. Prog Lipid Res 35, 53–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Jensen, R. G., et al. (1990). Lipids of bovine and human milk: A comparison. J Dairy Sci 73, 223–240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Johnson, R V. (1985). Dietary lipids and immunity. Adv Lipid Res 21, 103–141.Google Scholar
  59. Klemann, L. R, Finley, J. W., Leveille, G. A. (1994). Estimation of the absorption coefficient of stearic acid in SALATRIM fats. JAgric Food Chem 42, 484–488.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Kremer, D. M., Robinson, D. R. (1991). Studies of dietary supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. In Health Effects of Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Seafoods, pp. 367–387. Edited by A.P. Simopoulos, et al. World Rev Nutrition and Dietetics, Vol. 66. Basel: Karger.Google Scholar
  61. Kris-Etherton, P. M., et al. (1995). Trans fatty acids and coronary heart disease risk. Am J Clin Nutr 62, 6555–708S.Google Scholar
  62. LaVecchia C., et al. (1995). Olive oil, other dietary fats and the risk of breast cancer (Italy). Cancer Causes Control 6, 545–450.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Lehner, R., Kuksis, A. (1996). Biosynthesis of triacylglycerols. Prog Lipid Res 35, 169–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Leitch, C.A., Jones, P. J. H. (1993). Measurement of human lipogenesis using deuterium incorporation. J Lipid Res 34, 157–163.Google Scholar
  65. Martin-Moreno, J. M., et al. (1994). Dietary fat, olive oil intake and breast cancer risk. Int J Cancer 58, 774–780.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. McNamara, D. J. et al. (1987). Heterogeneity of cholesterol homeostasis in man: Response to changes in dietary fat quality and cholesterol quantity. J Clin Invest 79, 1729–1739.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Mela, D. J. (1995). Understanding fat preference and consumption: Applications of behavioural sciences to a nutritional problem. Proc Nutri Soc 54, 453–464.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Miller, K. W., Allgood, G. S. (1993). Nutritional assessment of Olestra, a non-calorific fat substitute. Int J Food Sci Nutr 44 (suppl. 1), S77 - S82.Google Scholar
  69. Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1940–1997). Household Food Consumption and Expenditure. Annual Report of the National Food Survey Committee. London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office.Google Scholar
  70. Nelson, G. J., Schmidt, P. C., Kelley, D. S. (1995). Low-fat diets do not lower plasma cholesterol levels in healthy men compared to high-fat diets with similar fatty acid composition at constant caloric intake. Lipids 30, 969–976.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Okuyama, H., Kobayashi, T., Watanabe, S. (1996). Dietary fatty acids-the n-6/71–3 balance and chronic elderly diseases. Excess linoleic acid and relative n-3 deficiency syndrome seen in Japan. Prog Lipid Res 35, 409–457.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Parodi, P. W. (1994). Conjugated linoleic acid: an anticarcinogenic fatty acid present in milk fat. Aust JDairy Technol 49, 93–97.Google Scholar
  73. Parthasarathy, S., Rankin, S M (1992). Role of oxidized low density lipoprotein in atherosclerosis. Prog Lipid Res 31, 127–143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Peters, J. C. et al. (1991). Caprenin 3. Absorption and caloric value in adult humans. JAm Coll Toxicol 10, 357–367.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Press, M., et al. (1974). Diagnosis and treatment of essential fatty acid deficiency in man. Br Med J 2, 247–250.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Read, W. W. C., Lutz, P. G., Tashjian, A. (1965a). Human milk lipids, II. The influence of dietary carbohydrates and fat on the fatty acids of mature milk. A study in four ethnic groups. Am J Clin Nutr 17, 180–183.Google Scholar
  77. Read, W. W. C., Lutz, P. G., Tashjian, A. (1965b). Human milk lipids, III. Short term effects of dietary carbohydrates and fat. Am J Clin Nutr 17, 184–187.Google Scholar
  78. Reaven, G. M. (1988). Role of insulin resistance in human disease (Banting Lecture). Diabetes 37, 1595–1607.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Riemersma, R. A. et al. (1991). Risk of angina pectoris and plasma concentrations of vitamins A, C and E and carotene. Lancet 337, 1–5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Rimm, E. B., et al. (1993). Vitamin E consumption and the risk of coronary heart disease in men. N Engl J Medicine 328, 1450–1456.Google Scholar
  81. Rolls, B. J. et al. (1994). Satiety after preloads with different amounts of fat and carbohydrate: Implications for obesity. Am J Clin Nutr 60, 476–487.Google Scholar
  82. Rosenman, R. H. (1993). The questionable roles of the diet and serum cholesterol in the incidence of ischemic heart disease and its 20th century changes. Homeostasis 34, 1–44.Google Scholar
  83. Salonen, J. T., et al. (1992). Autoantibody against oxidized LDL and progression of carotid atherosclerosis. Lancet 339, 883–887.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Sjostrom, L. (1973). Carbohydrate-stimulated fatty acid synthesis de novo in human adipose tissue of different cellular types. Acta Med Scand 194, 387–404.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Steinberg, D., et al. (1989). Beyond cholesterol. Modifications of low density lipoprotein that increase its atherogenicity. N Engl J Med 320, 915–924.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Stender, S., et al. (1995). The influence of trans fatty acids on health: A report of the Danish Nutrition Council. Clin Sci 88, 375–392.Google Scholar
  87. Stubbs, R. J. (1995). Macronutrient effects on appetite. Int JObes 19 (suppl. 5), S11 - S19.Google Scholar
  88. Stubbs, R. J., et al. (1995a). Covert manipulation of dietary fat and energy density: Effect on substrate flux and food intake in men feeding ad libitum. Am J Clin Nutr 62, 316–329.Google Scholar
  89. Stubbs, R. J., et al. (1995b). Covert manipulation of dietary fat to carbohydrate ratio and energy density: Effect on food intake and energy balance in free-living men feeding ad libitum. Am J Clin Nutr 62, 330–337.Google Scholar
  90. Stubbs, R. J., et al. (1996). Covert manipulation of dietary fat to carbohydrate ratio of isoenergetically dense diets: Effect on food intake in ad libitum feeding men. Int J Obes 20, 651–660.Google Scholar
  91. Tremblay, A. (1992). Human obesity: A defect in lipid oxidation or in thermogenesis? Int J Obes 16, 953–957.Google Scholar
  92. Tremblay, A., et al. (1989). Impact of dietary fat content and fat oxidation on energy intake in humans, Am J Clin Nutr 49, 799–805.Google Scholar
  93. Trichopoulos, A., et al. (1995). Consumption of olive oil and specific food groups in relation to breast cancer risk in Greece. J Natl Cancer Inst 87, 110–116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  94. Vorster, H. H., Cummings, J. H., Jerling, J. C. (1997). Diet and haemostatic processes. Nutr Res Rev 10, 115–135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  95. Weitz, Z. W, et al. (1991). High breath pentane concentrations during acute myocardial infarction. Lancet 337, 933–935.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  96. Williams, C. M. (1997). Proc Nutr Soc 56, 679–692.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  97. World Cancer Research Fund (1997). Food, Nutrition and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective. Washington, DC: World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research, Washington.Google Scholar
  98. World Health Organization Study Group (WHO) (1990). Diet, nutrition and the prevention of chronic diseases. Technical Report Series 797. WHO, Geneva: World Health Organization.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael I. Gurr

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations