Am J Clin Nutr 1996 (Feb); 63 (2): 184–193
Wander RC, Du SH, Ketchum SO, Rowe KE
Department of Nutrition and Food Management,
Oregon State University,
Corvallis 97331, USA
We evaluated the effects of RRR-alpha-tocpheryl acetate (alpha-tocopheryl acetate) and hormone-replacement therapy (HRT) on the oxidative susceptibility of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) in postmenopausal women consuming a fish oil supplement. The independent effect of fish oil was also assessed. Forty-eight women, equally divided between women using and not using HRT, participated in a double-blind crossover trial. Each of the four periods lasted 5 wk and was followed by a 4-wk washout interval. During each period all subjects were given a 15-g supplement of fish oil and either 0 (placebo), 100, 200, or 400 mg alpha-tocopheryl acetate daily. LDL resistance to oxidative modification was assessed by calculating lag time, propagation rate, and maximum production of conjugated dienes. Supplementation with fish oil and placebo shortened lag time and slowed propagation rate in women both using and not using HRT. After subjects consumed fish oil, supplementation with alpha-tocopheryl acetate increased plasma and LDL alpha-tocopherol contents significantly and lengthened lag time (at even the lowest concentration) but had no significant effect on propagation rate or maximum production compared with values measured after consumption of fish oil alone. Women not using HRT had faster propagation rates and higher maximum production than women using HRT; after supplementation with fish oil and alpha-tocopheryl acetate these differences prevailed. Supplements as low as 100 mg alpha-tocopheryl acetate/d increase the resistance of LDL to oxidation when fish oil supplements are used. HRT and fish oil supplements may independently affect LDL oxidative susceptibility.