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Handb Exp Pharmacol. 2005;(170):263-300.

Dietary antioxidants and paraoxonases against LDL oxidation and atherosclerosis development.

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The Lipid Research Laboratory, Technion Faculty of Medicin and Rambam Medical Center, Haifa, Israel.


Oxidative modification of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) in the arterial wall plays a key role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. Under oxidative stress LDL is exposed to oxidative modifications by arterial wall cells including macrophages. Oxidative stress also induces cellular-lipid peroxidation, resulting in the formation of 'oxidized macrophages', which demonstrate increased capacity to oxidize LDL and increased uptake of oxidized LDL. Macrophage-mediated oxidation of LDL depends on the balance between pro-oxidants and antioxidants in the lipoprotein and in the cells. LDL is protected from oxidation by antioxidants, as well as by a second line of defense--paraoxonase 1 (PON1), which is a high-density lipoprotein-associated esterase that can hydrolyze and reduce lipid peroxides in lipoproteins and in arterial cells. Cellular paraoxonases (PON2 and PON3) may also play an important protective role against oxidative stress at the cellular level. Many epidemiological studies have indicated a protective role for a diet rich in fruits and vegetables against the development and progression of cardiovascular disease. A large number of studies provide data suggesting that consumption of dietary antioxidants is associated with reduced risk for cardiovascular diseases. Basic research provides plausible mechanisms by which dietary antioxidants might reduce the development of atherosclerosis. These mechanisms include inhibition of LDL oxidation, inhibition of cellular lipid peroxidation and consequently attenuation of cell-mediated oxidation of LDL. An additional possible mechanism is preservation/increment of paraoxonases activity by dietary antioxidants. This review chapter presents recent data on the anti-atherosclerotic effects and mechanism of action of three major groups of dietary antioxidants-vitamin E, carotenoids and polyphenolic flavonoids.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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