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Biological Implications of Lipid Oxidation Products


Essentially all fat-containing foods have the potential to undergo lipid oxidation even where unsaturated fatty acid compositions are low. Therefore, consumption of lipid oxidation products is potentially common with risk of consuming lipid oxidation products increasing in foods with high amounts of unsaturation (e.g. foods with omega-3 fatty acids), foods subjected to extensive thermal processing (e.g. fried foods), or food high in pro-oxidants (e.g. meats). Lipid oxidation generates potentially toxic products that have shown correlation with inflammatory diseases, as well as cancer, atherosclerosis, aging, etc. These potentially toxic products can enter the body through the diet and can develop in vivo during the digestion of lipids. Oxidation products can be absorbed into the blood and in some cases transported to tissues. The aim of this manuscript is to review how potentially toxic lipid oxidation products are formed and evaluate their potential to impact health. While lipid oxidation produces literally hundreds of oxidation products, this review focused on acrolein, 4-hydroxy-trans-nonenal, 4-hydroxy-trans-hexanal, crotonaldehyde, malondialdehyde, and cholesterol as they are the most reactive oxidation products and also the most studied.

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Correspondence to Eric A. Decker.

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Vieira, S.A., Zhang, G. & Decker, E.A. Biological Implications of Lipid Oxidation Products. J Am Oil Chem Soc 94, 339–351 (2017).

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  • Lipid oxidation
  • α,β-Unsaturated carbonyls
  • Acrolein
  • 4-Hydroxy-trans-nonenal
  • 4-Hydroxy-trans-hexanal
  • Crotonaldehyde
  • Malonaldehyde
  • Cholesterol
  • Core aldehydes
  • Toxicity