Reprinted from Nutrition Research Vol. 20 (5) pp 707-719

Consumption of Ground Bison Does Not Increase Early Atherosclerosis 
Development in Hypercholesteroliemic Hamsters

T. A. Wilson1, R. J. Nicolosi2, M. J. Marchello3 and D. Kritchevsky4
Center for Chronic Disease Control, Atlanta; 2University of Massachusetts, Lowell;
3North Dakota State University, Fargo; and 4Wistar Institute, Philadelphia.


The present study investigated the effect of substituting the source of dietary protein in a hypercholesterolemic animal model.  Sixty male Golden Syrian hamsters approximately 10 weeks of age were placed on a chow diet for one week.  The hamsters were then divided into one of four groups, 15 hamsters per group, based on similar mean plasma cholesterol concentrations and fed a semi purified, hypercholesterolemic diet containing 20% by weight of either soy protein, casein, lyophilized ground bison, or lyophilized ground beef and 0.05% cholesterol for 8 weeks.  After 8 weeks of dietary treatment, the soy protein group had significantly lower plasma total cholesterol (TC), nonHDL-C (very low- and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol), and HDL-C (high-density lipoprotein cholesterol) concentrations compared to the casein (-20, -23, and 18%, respectively), bison (-24, -32, and 19% respectively), and beef (-34, -41, and 30%, respectively).

The bison and casein groups had significantly lower plasma TC (-14 and 18% respectively), nonHDL-C (-14 and 23% respectively), and HDL-C (-14 and 15% respectively) concentrations compared to the beef.  The soy protein, bison, and casein groups had significantly lower plasma triglycerides (TG) concentrations compared to beef (-49, -25, and 37% respectively).  Unexpectedly the bison and beef groups had significantly reduced early atherosclerosis compared to the soy protein (-50 and 43%, respectively) and casein (-68 and 64%, respectively).  The soy protein group also had significantly reduced early atherosclerosis compare to the casein (-37%).  In conclusion, plasma nonHDL-C may not be a good indicator of the development of early atherosclerosis in the hamster model and that the reduced early aortic atherosclerosis in the bison fed hamsters may be due in part to both the lipid and protein composition of the bison.

Key Words: Bison, Beef, Casein, Soy Protein, Plasma Cholesterol, Atherosclerosis

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