What Is the General Activity of Chylomicrons

As summarized in Table 5.5, chylomicrons are made by the cells lining our small intestine and transport diet-derived lipids throughout the body. Chylomicron composition reflects our dietary lipid intake; therefore, they contain mostly fat. As chylomicrons circulate they unload most of their fat in fat tissue and other tissues such as muscle, as described previously. Once most of the fat has been removed the chylomicron is much smaller and is recognized and removed from the blood by the liver where it is broken down. Any cholesterol and leftover fat becomes the property of the liver.

Table 5.5 The Most Abundant Lipoproteins

Lipoprotein Site of General Activity Fate

Class Production


Very low density lipoproteins


Low density lipoproteins

High density lipoproteins

Small intestine


Derived from VLDL in circulation

Produced by the liver and small intestine

Transport dietary fat and cholesterol from digestive tract. Much of the fat is deposited in fat and muscle tissue

Delivery of fat and cholesterol from the liver to tissue throughout the body

Deposit cholesterol in tissue throughout our body

Circulate and pick up cholesterol from tissue throughout the body

Chylomicron remnants containing cholesterol and remaining fat are removed from the blood by the liver

As they circulate they deposit fat in fat tissue and other tissue and become LDLs

Eventually removed from the blood by the liver and to a lesser degree other tissue

Eventually removed from circulation primarily by the liver

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