The Journal of Nutrition vol:120 issue:12 pages:1624-1632
In two feeding experiments immature (180 g) and mature rats (370 g) were fed a semi-purified diet containing 20% of a protein source (casein, wheat gluten, soybean or potato protein) for 4 wk. Food supply was restricted to 15 g daily. As compared to casein, plant proteins induced significantly lower concentrations of plasma total cholesterol and high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. The plasma cholesterol increase associated with aging was not prevented by consumption of casein, soybean or potato protein, but wheat gluten seemed to be effective. Lecithin-cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT) activity was not significantly different in rats of the same age fed different plant proteins, whereas the esterification rate was lower in rats fed casein. With aging the LCAT activity generally decreased. As compared to the casein groups, the rats fed plant proteins showed higher excretion of fecal neutral and acidic steroids. Among the groups fed plant proteins, the fecal output of steroids was variable. Significantly negative correlations were found between fecal total sterol excretion and plasma total cholesterol or HDL cholesterol, respectively. Plant proteins showed a faster migration rate in the stomach, whereas their migration and absorption were slower in the first half of the small intestine. A relation between nonabsorbed nitrogen-containing substances and sterol excretion was hypothesized.