Research Article| Volume 59, ISSUE 3, P229-233, September 1998

A high linoleic acid diet increases oxidative stress in vivo and affects nitric oxide metabolism in humans

  • A.M. Turpeinen
    Correspondence to: Anu M. Turpeinen, Department of Applied Chemistry and Microbiology, Division of Nutrition, PO Box 27, Fin-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland. Tel: +358 9 708 5202; Fax: +358 9 708 5269.
    Department of Applied Chemistry and Microbiology, Division of Nutrition, University of Helsinki, Helsink, Finland
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  • S. Basu
    Department of Geriatrics, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
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  • M. Mutanen
    Department of Applied Chemistry and Microbiology, Division of Nutrition, University of Helsinki, Helsink, Finland
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      Evidence from in vitro studies shows that increased intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids leads to increased oxidative stress, which may be associated with endothelial damage. We measured the urinary levels of 8-iso-PGF and nitric oxide metabolites as well as plasma slCAM-1 levels from healthy subjects after strictly controlled diets rich in either linoleic acid (LA, C18:2 n-6) or oleic acid (OA, C18:1 n-9).
      Thirty-eight volunteers (20 women and 18 men, mean age 27 years) consumed a baseline diet rich in saturated fatty acids (SFA) for 4 weeks and were then switched to either a high LA diet (11.5 en%) or a high OA diet (18.0 en%) also for 4 weeks. During the LA and OA diets, nearly all food was provided for the whole day. A control group of 13 subjects consumed their habitual diet throughout the study.
      Urinary excretion of 8-iso-PGF was significantly increased after the LA diet (170 vs 241 ng/mmol creatinine, P=0.04), whereas the urinary concentration of nitric oxide metabolites decreased (4.2 vs 2.6 mg/mmol creatinine, P=0.03). No significant changes were seen in the OA group. Significant differences between the LA and control group were found for both 8-oxo-PGF (P=0.03) and NO (P=0.02), whereas the OA and LA groups did not differ with respect to any parameter. Also plasma slCAM-1 remained unchanged in both groups throughout the study. In conclusion, the high-LA diet increased oxidative stress and affected endothelial function in a way which may in the long-term predispose to endothelial dysfunction.
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