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2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Systematic Reviews

Systematic Review Question

What is the association between dietary stearic acid and LDL cholesterol?

Conclusion Statement

Moderate evidence from a systematic review indicates that when stearic acid is substituted for other saturated fatty acids (SFA) or trans fatty acids, plasma LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) levels are decreased; when substituted for carbohydrates, LDL-C levels are unchanged; and when substituted for monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) or polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), LDL-C levels are increased. Therefore, the impact of stearic acid replacement of other energy sources is variable regarding LDL-C, and the potential impact of changes in stearic acid intake on cardiovascular disease risk remains unclear.

2010 DGAC Grade: Moderate