Synthetic and modified glycerides: effects on plasma lipids

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It has been suggested that the molecular species or structure of the triglyceride, i.e. not only what fatty acids are present but also their relative order in the sn1, 2, or 3 position on the triglyceride, can influence the metabolism of the triglyceride and its fatty acids, including lipoprotein metabolism. One rationale for this possibility assumes that the fatty acid in the sn2 position can be absorbed intact, i.e. as the sn2 monoglyceride, whereas the sn1,3 fatty acids are absorbed as free fatty acids that metabolize independently. Some sn2 monoglyceride might ultimately serve as the backbone for gut or liver phospholipids, exerting downstream influence on lipid metabolism. Experiments that test this hypothesis directly by feeding triglycerides with modified structure during carefully controlled fat intake are few, particularly in humans, but their results tend to support the paradigm.

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