, Volume 8, Issue 6, pp 523-529

Dietary effects on oxidation of low-density lipoprotein and atherogenesis

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Oxidization of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) particles leads to formation of atherosclerotic lesions and increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) via a complex cascade of biochemical events occurring mostly within the arterial wall. Multiple dietary factors impact LDL oxidation levels, such as fat-rich meals, hyper- and hypocaloric diets, and specific nutrients (vitamins E, C, and beta-carotene; mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids; and polyphenolic compounds). These basic nutrients are naturally present at high concentrations, individually or in combinations, in common foods (fruits/vegetables, vegetable oils, red wine, soy, fish, tea); in turn, these foods are the main components of well-defined diets (Mediterranean, East Asian, balanced vegetarian) that display protective action against LDL oxidation and potentially against CVD. For most nutrients, however, both positive and negative evidence exists as to the extent of their antioxidant properties and protection against risk of CVD, prompting caution in the interpretation of data reports and health claims of advertised antioxidant products.