Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Chemistry and Biochemistry

Department name when degree awarded

Nutrition and Biochemistry

Committee Chair(s)

Ethelwyn B. Wilcox


Ethelwyn B. Wilcox


Elveda Smith


LeGrande C. Ellis


Ruth E. Wheeler


Four healthy university women students (age 21-26) while on self-selected diets and living under normal living conditions served as experimental subjects in a study of changes of serum total lipids, distribution of lipid classes, and the fatty acid composition of lipid fractions during the menstrual cycle. Effect of meal frequency (2 meals vs 3 meals with no breakfast) was also included.

Total lipids were extracted from serum. Chemical determinations of total lipids, total and free cholesterols, and lipid phosphorous were made on these extracts. Concentration of cholesterol esters and phospholipids were calculated and triglycerides plus free fatty acids were calculated by difference. The total lipids were separated into lipid classes by thin-layer chromatographic method while the methyl esters of fatty acids were analyzed by Gas-Liquid chromatographic method.

The variation between the individual subjects was quite great in this study. Further work using a greater number of subjects, analyses for more days to obtain maximum peaks, and selection of subjects who have menstrual cycles of the same length, such as 28 days, are recommended to clearly identify changes of serum lipid metabolism during the menstrual cycle. Relating these basic data to endocrine excretion values should give information needed for future studies relating abnormal metabolism of lipids to atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease.