Decreased aortic early atherosclerosis and associated risk factors in hypercholesterolemic hamsters fed a high- or mid-oleic acid oil compared to a high-linoleic acid oil.J Nutr Biochem. 2004 Sep; 15(9):540-7.JN
Currently, diets higher in polyunsaturated fat are believed to lower blood cholesterol concentrations, and thus reduce atherosclerosis, greater than diets containing high amounts of saturated or possibly even monounsaturated fat. The present study was designed to investigate the effect of diets containing mid- or high-linoleic oil versus the typical high-linoleic sunflower oil on LDL oxidation and the development of early atherosclerosis in a hypercholesterolemic hamster model. Animals were fed a hypercholesterolemic diet containing 10% mid-oleic sunflower oil, high-oleic olive oil, or high-linoleic sunflower oil (wt/wt) plus 0.4% cholesterol (wt/wt) for 10 weeks. After 10 weeks of dietary treatment, only the animals fed the mid-oleic sunflower oil had significant reductions in plasma LDL-C levels (-17%) compared to the high-linoleic sunflower oil group. The high-oleic olive oil-fed hamsters had significantly higher plasma triglyceride levels (+41%) compared to the high-linoleic sunflower oil-fed hamsters. The tocopherol levels in plasma LDL were significantly higher in hamsters fed the mid-oleic sunflower oil (+77%) compared to hamsters fed either the high-linoleic sunflower or high-oleic olive oil. Measurements of LDL oxidation parameters, indicated that hamsters fed the mid-oleic sunflower oil and high-oleic olive oil diets had significantly longer lag phase (+66% and +145%, respectively) and significantly lower propagation rates (-26% and -44%, respectively) and conjugated dienes formed (-17% and -25%, respectively) compared to the hamsters fed the high-linoleic sunflower oil. Relative to the high-linoleic sunflower oil, aortic cholesterol ester was reduced by -14% and -34% in the mid-oleic sunflower oil and high-oleic olive oil groups, respectively, with the latter reaching statistical significance. Although there were no significant associations between plasma lipids and lipoprotein cholesterol with aortic total cholesterol and cholesterol esters for any of the groups, the lag phase of conjugated diene formation was inversely associated with both aortic total and esterified cholesterol in the high-oleic olive oil-fed hamsters (r = -0.69, P < 0.05). The present study suggests that mid-oleic sunflower oil reduces risk factors such as lipoprotein cholesterol and oxidative stress associated with early atherosclerosis greater than the typical high-linoleic sunflower oil in hypercholesterolemic hamsters. The high-oleic olive oil not only significantly reduced oxidative stress but also reduced aortic cholesterol ester, a hallmark of early aortic atherosclerosis greater than the typical high-linoleic sunflower oil.