Document Detail

Effects of flaxseed oil on serum lipids and atherosclerosis in hypercholesterolemic rabbits.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  14506548     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVE: Flaxseed oil has very high content of alpha-linolenic acid (C18:3n-3, omega-3 [n-3] fatty acid). Based on the usefulness of n-3 fatty acid in fish oil against cardiovascular diseases, flaxseed oil is marketed as a health food. The n-3 fatty acid in flaxseed oil is different than that of fish oil. Indirect evidence suggests that the omega-3 fatty acid in flaxseed oil is not effective in lowering serum lipids and hypercholesterolemic atherosclerosis. The effects of flaxseed oil on serum lipids and hypercholesterolemic atherosclerosis are not known. An investigation, therefore, was made of flaxseed oil on high-cholesterol diet-induced atherosclerosis, serum lipids (triglycerides, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, risk ratio of total cholesterol to high-density lipoprotein cholesterol), serum and aortic malondialdehyde, an index of levels of reactive oxygen species, aortic chemiluminescence (a measure of antioxidant reserve), and reactive oxygen species-producing activity of white blood cell chemiluminescence in rabbits. METHODS: The rabbits were assigned to four groups: Group I, regular diet (control); Group II, 5% flaxseed oil in regular diet; Group III, 0.5% cholesterol diet; Group IV, diet containing 0.5% cholesterol and 5% flaxseed oil. Blood samples were collected before and after 4 and 8 weeks of experimental diets for measurement of serum lipids, serum malondialdehyde, and white blood cell chemiluminescence. At the end of 8 weeks of the experimental diet, aortas were removed for measurement of atherosclerotic plaques, aortic malondialdehyde, and antioxidant reserve. RESULTS: Serum total cholesterol, triglycerides, and low-density and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and risk ratio of total cholesterol to high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, were elevated to a similar extent in Groups III and IV compared to Groups I and II. The extent of atherosclerosis in Groups III and IV was similar (56.74% +/- 11.14% vs 58.01% +/- 10.95%). Groups III and IV both had similar increases in serum and aortic malondialdehyde and antioxidant reserve. Reactive oxygen species-producing activity of white blood cells increased in Group III, and flaxseed oil prevented the cholesterol-induced increase in white blood cell chemiluminescence in Group IV. CONCLUSION: These results suggest that flaxseed oil does not produce an alteration in serum lipids or in the extent of hypercholesterolemic atherosclerosis; however, it decreases white blood cell chemiluminescence. The ineffectiveness of flaxseed oil was associated with its ineffectiveness in altering the levels of oxidative stress.
Paul Lee; Kailash Prasad
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of cardiovascular pharmacology and therapeutics     Volume:  8     ISSN:  1074-2484     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Cardiovasc. Pharmacol. Ther.     Publication Date:  2003 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2003-09-24     Completed Date:  2003-12-02     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9602617     Medline TA:  J Cardiovasc Pharmacol Ther     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  227-35     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.
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MeSH Terms
Antioxidants / metabolism
Aorta / metabolism,  pathology
Arteriosclerosis / drug therapy*,  etiology,  metabolism
Cholesterol, Dietary / administration & dosage,  toxicity
Diet, Atherogenic
Hypercholesterolemia / complications*
Linseed Oil / administration & dosage*
Lipids / blood*
Malondialdehyde / blood,  metabolism
Neutrophils / drug effects,  metabolism
Oxidative Stress / drug effects
Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Antioxidants; 0/Cholesterol, Dietary; 0/Lipids; 0/Reactive Oxygen Species; 542-78-9/Malondialdehyde; 8001-26-1/Linseed Oil

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