Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences

Department name when degree awarded

Food and Nutrition

Committee Chair(s)

Ethelwyn Wilcox


Ethelwyn Wilcox


Anthony Tu


Although much information is available in which the cholesterol level and concentration of other lipids in serum have been studied, only limited data have been reported for normal human adults and concentrations of fatty acids composition of lipid classes in serum. In recent study in this laboratory, five male adults who were in good health served as experimental subjects. They were on a self-chosen diet and received a test dose of Nicospan (buffered nicotinic acid) of 2 gm per day for three weeks of a six-week test period. About 30 ml of venous blood were obtained twice weekly from each subject after an overnight fast of at least 12 hours. Serum was separated from whole blood by standard procedures and the concentrations of total lipids, the distribution of lipid classes, and the fatty acid compositions of cholesterol esters, triglycerides, and phospholipids were determined and compared for three different periods of the study.

The concentrations of total lipids for four subjects showed slight decrease during nicotinic acid therapy including 4 mg per 100 ml (7 per cent); 44 mg per 100 ml (7 per cent); 8 mg per 100 ml (1 per cent); 15 mg per 100 ml (2 per cent) for subjects GB, VT, MR, and RB respectively. Subject LN showed slightly higher values in the periods without nicotinic acid treatment. The results agree with previously reported data.

Slight and rather inconsistent changes occurred in the lipid classes during the test period with nicotinic acid as compared to the pre- and post- test periods. The changes were not significant.

The fatty acid compositions of serum cholesterol esters, triglycerides, and phospholipids of three subjects LN, VT, and RB were determined. Values on days with and without nicotinic acid therapy were studied and were compared with values determined on days during nicotinic acid therapy.

In cholesterol esters, myristic, linoleic and arachidonic acids decreased during the period of nicotinic acid therapy whereas stearic and oleic acids slightly increased. In triglyceride, most of saturated fatty acids including myristic, palmitic and stearic acids and the polyunsaturated acid, linoleic, increased during nicotinic acid therapy whereas only oleic acid decreased during the treatment period. Fatty acids of phospholipids were reduced in palmitic, stearic and linoleic acids whereas values for oleic acid increased.

The response of the subjects to the doseage of nicotinic acid was very little. If the size of the test dose and the study period were increased, as well as choosing subjects with higher initial serum total lipid and cholesterol values, greater response should be observed.



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