Int J Sports Med 1992; 13(4): 279-284
DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-1021267
Physiology and Biochemistry

© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

Changes in Plasma Lipoprotein Levels during a Hiking Expedition in South America

M. Faber1 , A. J. Spinnler Benadé1 , C. Celliers2 , M. Marais1
  • 1Research Institute for Nutritional Diseases of the South African Medical Research Council, P. O. Box 19070, Tygberberg, 7505, Republic of South Africa
  • 2Chamber of Mines of South Africa, Johannesburg
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
14 March 2008 (online)


Eleven males participated in a hiking expedition over a period of 6 weeks during which they walked an average of 15 km per day, resting days included. The participants completed a seven-day estimated dietary record before and during the expedition. Their habitual dietary in-take before the expedition was typical of a Western diet. During the expedition most animal products, with the exception of canned fish, were excluded from the diet. The dietary intake of fat and carbohydrate changed from 36.9% and 40.6% to 14.0% and 76.4% respectively. Cholesterol intake dropped from 557 mg to 92 mg. Mean plasma total cholesterol (TC) decreased from 190.9 mg/100 ml to 142.0 mg/100 ml. These changes were mainly due to changes in low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C). Although high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) did not change, the ratio of HDL-C to TC increased significantly. It can be concluded that drastic dietary changes, together with increased physical activity and weight loss resulted in major plasma lipoprotein changes. The expected fall in HDL-C due to a high carbohydrate diet was counteracted by the increased physical activity and weight loss.