Ann Nutr Metab. 1998 ; 42(6): 328-32.
LDL oxidizability and antioxidative status of plasma in vegetarians.
Institute of Preventive and Clinical Medicine, Bratislava, Slovak Republic.
Vegetarian food with a higher content of natural antioxidants may decrease the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. The oxidative modification of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. The objectives of this study were to investigate in vitro resistance of LDL against oxidation and antioxidative status of plasma in 19 lactoovovegetarians and nonvegetarians (n = 19). The kinetics of conjugated diene formation (lag time and maximal rate of oxidation, Vmax) and thiobarbituric acid reacting substances (TBARS) were determined as indices of LDL oxidation. No significant differences in lag time and Vmax were observed between vegetarians and nonvegetarians, while TBARS in native and oxidatively modified LDL were significantly lower in vegetarians. Plasma vitamin (C, E, beta-carotene) levels were increased in vegetarians, but only the vitamin C increase was statistically significant. Vegetarians also had a significantly increased plasma total antioxidant status (TAS) and molar ratio vitamin E/cholesterol which indicates a more effective protection of lipoproteins against oxidation. A significant positive correlation was observed between lag time and plasma TAS in both vegetarians and nonvegetarians. We conclude that although the resistance of LDL to in vitro oxidation, as measured by the kinetics of conjugated diene formation was not altered in vegetarians, the effect of vegetarian nutritional habits favorably affected TBARS levels in LDL and total plasma antioxidant capacity.