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Lab Anim Res. 2012 Mar;28(1):39-46. doi: 10.5625/lar.2012.28.1.39. Epub 2012 Mar 21.

Anti-hypercholesterolemic and anti-atherosclerotic effects of polarized-light therapy in rabbits fed a high-cholesterol diet.

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College of Veterinary Medicine, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju, Korea.


The effects of polarized-light therapy (PLT) on high-cholesterol diet (HCD)-induced hypercholesterolemia and atherosclerosis were investigated in comparison with that of lovastatin in rabbits. Hypercholesterolemia was induced by feeding male New Zealand white rabbits with 1% cholesterol in diet for 2 weeks and maintained with 0.5% cholesterol for 6 weeks, followed by normal diet for 2 weeks for recovery. Lovastatin (0.002% in diet) or daily 5-min or 20-min PLT on the outside surface of ears was started 2 weeks after induction of hypercholesterolemia. Hypercholesterolemic rabbits exhibited great increases in serum cholesterol and low-density lipoproteins (LDL) levels, and finally severe atheromatous plaques formation covering 57.5% of the arterial walls. Lovastatin markedly reduced both the cholesterol and LDL, but the reducing effect (47.5%) on atheroma formation was relatively low. By comparison, 5-min PLT preferentially decreased LDL, rather than cholesterol, and thereby potentially reduced the atheroma area to 42.2%. Notably, 20-min PLT was superior to lovastatin in reducing both the cholesterol and LDL levels as well as the atheromatous plaque formation (26.4%). In contrast to the increases in blood alanine transaminase and aspartate transaminase following lovastatin treatment, PLT did not cause hepatotoxicity. In addition, PLT decreased platelets and hematocrit level. The results indicate that PLT attenuates atherosclerosis not only by lowering blood cholesterol and LDL levels, but also by improving blood flow without adverse effects. Therefore, it is suggested that PLT could be a safe alternative therapy for the improvement of hypercholesterolemia and atherosclerosis.


Hypercholesterolemia; atherosclerosis; lovastatin; polarized-light therapy (PLT)

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