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Influence of dietary lipids on the erythrocyte antioxidant status of hypercholesterolaemic children


The aim of this work was to examine the effect of dietary lipid intakes on the biomarkers of red cell antioxidant status in hypercholesterolaemic children. The study population included 34 children (18 boys and 16 girls) with cholesterol levels ≥5.2 mmol/l and 16 normolipidaemic children (9 boys and 7 girls) between 6 and 12 years of age. The status of the erythrocyte antioxidants superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), glutathione reductase (GR) and reduced glutathione (GSH) were estimated spectrophotometrically. Dietary intake was assessed by 24-h recall and seven-day records. The hypercholesterolaemic children showed a decreased activity of antioxidant enzymes in relation to the control group. There was a negative correlation between energy intake and the activity of antioxidant enzymes (SOD and CAT) and GSH levels. Cholesterol intake was inversely correlated with CAT and GPx activity and GSH levels. The intake of polyunsaturated fat was positively correlated with the GPx activity. A decrease in the fat content of the diet for 6 months was proposed and 15 children followed the diet strictly. The activities of antioxidant enzymes in these children were significantly higher after the low-fat diet; the greatest increment was noted in the activity of GPx (91% with respect to the initial values), SOD was increased by 44% and CAT by 70%. We conclude that the intake of dietary lipids can modulate the antioxidant defence system, and an excess of energy and cholesterol has a negative influence on the antioxidant enzymes.

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Body mass index




Cardiovascular disease


Glutathione peroxidase


Glutathione reductase


Reduced glutathione


Oxidised glutathione


High-density lipoprotein cholesterol


Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol


Monounsaturated fatty acids


Polyunsaturated fatty acids


Reactive oxygen species


Saturated fatty acids


Superoxide dismutase


Very low density lipoprotein


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We appreciate the collaboration of the parents whose children have participated in this study and we are grateful to Antonio Carrión and Pilar Lillo for their nutritionist work. We thank Michelle Mendez for her help in editing the manuscript

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Correspondence to Pilar Codoñer-Franch.

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Codoñer-Franch, P., Bataller Alberola, A., Domingo Camarasa, J.V. et al. Influence of dietary lipids on the erythrocyte antioxidant status of hypercholesterolaemic children. Eur J Pediatr 168, 321 (2009).

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  • Antioxidant enzymes
  • Glutathione
  • Hypercholesterolaemia
  • Diet
  • Lipids