β-Carotene and α-tocopherol inhibit the development of atherosclerotic lesions in hypercholesterolemic rabbits

Jidong Sun, David W. Giraud, Rodney A. Moxley, Judy A. Driskell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

45 Scopus citations

Abstract

Male New Zealand White rabbits were made hypercholesterolemic by feeding an atherogenic diet (0.5% cholesterol, 3% peanut oil, and 3% coconut oil) with or without (control) antioxidants for 8 weeks. The antioxidant treatments were intravenous injection of β-carotene (25 mg/kg/BW, twice weekly), dietary supplementation of α-tocopherol (0.5%), and a combination of both. Antioxidant treatments significantly increased plasma and LDL antioxidant levels in the above three groups. Intravenous injection of β-carotene significantly decreased total and LDL cholesterol concentrations, thoracic atherosclerotic lesion area, and intimal thickness, but had no effects on LDL oxidation ex vivo as compared to control. Added dietary α-tocopherol significantly decreased the susceptibility of LDL to oxidation ex vivo, aortic atherosclerotic lesion area and intimal thickness, but had no effects on plasma cholesterol levels as compared to control. Combination of both antioxidants significantly decreased total and LDL cholesterol concentrations, susceptibility of LDL to oxidation ex vivo, as well as atherosclerotic lesion area and intimal thickness at aortic arch and thoracic aorta as compared to control, but not β-carotene or α-tocopherol groups. These data suggest that the antihypercholesterolemic effects of β-carotene and antioxidant effects of α-tocopherol may benefit rabbits fed an atherogenic diet by inhibiting the development of atherosclerotic lesions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-163
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research
Volume67
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 24 1997

    Fingerprint

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

Cite this