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Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2013;83(6):367-76. doi: 10.1024/0300-9831/a000178.

Cardiotoxicity induced by dietary oxidized sunflower oil in rats: pro- and antioxidant effects of α-tocopherol.

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University, Blida, Algeria, and Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Agronomie, Food Technology Department, El Harrach, Algiers, Algeria.
Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique d’Algérie (INRAA), Department/Unit: Food Technology, Algiers, Algeria.
University, Blida, Algeria.
University, Blida, Algeria, and Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences, Blida.
Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Agronomie, Food Technology Department, El Harrach, Algiers, Algeria.


This study highlighted the pro-oxidative functions of α-tocopherol (αT) on the heart antioxidant system and tissue histopathology of oxidized sunflower oil (OSO)-exposed rats.Four groups of male Wistar rats were fed with different diets: 1) control diet containing FSO (fresh sunflower oil); 2) diet containing 5 % OSO; 3) diet containing 5 % OSO, supplemented with 600 mg αT kg-1; and 4) diet containing 5 % OSO, supplemented with 1200 mg αT kg-1. The hearts were then isolated, and the antioxidant enzymatic activities were assessed. Body weight and catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activities significantly decreased in groups fed with OSO, while the lipid peroxidation (LPO) level significantly increased. Administration of OSO with αT (600 mg · kg-1) returned the body weight values and LPO levels to similar values as the control group. The CAT and GPx activities increased but remained significantly lower compared to the control group. In the OSO group with αT (1200 mg · kg-1), the CAT and GPx activities also decreased, while LPO significantly increased. Heart tissue sections obtained from the groups revealed the presence of large areas of necrosis. This study suggested that OSO induced oxidative stress and that administration of a moderate dose of αT restored the antioxidant balance, but that high levels of αT supplementation result in a pro-oxidant effect.


heart; histopathology; oxidized sunflower oil; rat; toxicity; α-tocopherol

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