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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1990 May;87(10):3894-8.

Low density lipoprotein rich in oleic acid is protected against oxidative modification: implications for dietary prevention of atherosclerosis.

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Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla 92093-0613.


Oxidative modification of low density lipoprotein (LDL) enhances its potential atherogenicity in several ways, notably by enhancing its uptake into macrophages. In vivo studies in the rabbit show that inhibition of LDL oxidation slows the progression of atherosclerotic lesions. In the present studies, rabbits were fed either a newly developed variant sunflower oil (Trisun 80), containing more than 80% oleic acid and only 8% linoleic acid, or conventional sunflower oil, containing only 20% oleic acid and 67% linoleic acid. LDL isolated from the plasma of animals fed the variant sunflower oil was highly enriched in oleic acid and very low in linoleic acid. These oleate-rich LDL particles were remarkably resistant to oxidative modification. Even after 16-hr exposure to copper-induced oxidation or 24-hr incubation with cultured endothelial cells, macrophage uptake of the LDL was only marginally enhanced. The results suggest that diets sufficiently enriched in oleic acid, in addition to their LDL-lowering effect, may slow the progression of atherosclerosis by generating LDL that is highly resistant to oxidative modification.

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