The data on lipid metabolism in allergic children is limited.
We investigated lipid and sterol metabolism in young children whose diets were restricted because of food allergy.
Children in group A [n = 21; mean (+/- SD) age: 1.78 +/- 0.73 y] were allergic to fish, eggs, and either cow milk or cereals; those in group B (n = 31, aged 1.45 +/- 0.58 y) were allergic to fish, eggs, and both cow milk and cereals. Cholesterol precursor and plant sterol to cholesterol ratios (10(2) x micro mol/mmol cholesterol) and apolipoprotein E phenotype distributions were analyzed in 36 subjects. The control group for cholesterol precursor and plant sterol measurements consisted of 18 healthy age-matched children.
The mean serum cholesterol concentration was 3.6 +/- 0.6 mmol/L, and HDL cholesterol was 1.03 +/- 0.3 mmol/L in group A. Corresponding values in group B were 3.4 +/- 0.7 and 1.09 +/- 0.2 mmol/L. The daily cholesterol intake was low: 61.3 +/- 36.0 mg in group A and 50.7 +/- 48.5 mg in group B. Cholesterol precursor plant sterol concentrations were significantly higher in allergic subjects than in control subjects.
Allergic children with restricted diets have a low intake of cholesterol and relatively low serum cholesterol concentrations. Dietary intake of plant sterols was obviously increased because of supplementation with rapeseed oil, which is rich in plant sterols, leading to elevated plant sterol concentrations. Plant sterols may have inhibited cholesterol absorption, which in turn stimulated cholesterol synthesis in compensation, also explaining the increased precursor sterol ratios in serum in our subjects.
Comment In: Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Feb;79(2):340-114749249