Folate: in vitro and in vivo effects on VLDL and LDL oxidation.
Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2007 Jan;77(1):66-72. PMID: 17685097
Nutrition and Metabolism Group, Centre for Clinical and Population Sciences, Queen's University, Belfast, UK. firstname.lastname@example.org
Raised total homocysteine (tHcy) levels may be involved in the etiology of cardiovascular disease and can lead to damage of vascular endothelial cells and arterial wall matrix. Folic acid supplementation can help negate these detrimental effects by reducing tHcy. Recent evidence has suggested an additional anti-atherogenic property of folate in protecting lipoproteins against oxidation. This study utilized both an in vitro and in vivo approach. In vitro: Very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) and low density lipoprotein (LDL) were isolated by rapid ultracentrifugation and then oxidized in the presence of increasing concentrations (0-->10 micromol/L) of either folic acid or 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF). In vivo: Twelve female subjects were supplemented with folic acid (1 mg/day), and the pre- and post-VLDL and LDL isolates subjected to oxidation. In vitro: 5-MTHF, but not folic acid, significantly increased the resistance of VLDL and LDL to oxidation. In vivo: Following folic acid supplementation, tHcy decreased, serum folate increased, and both VLDL and LDL displayed a significant increase in their resistance to oxidation. These results indicated that in vitro, only the active form of folate, 5-MTHF, had antioxidant properties. In vivo results demonstrated that folic acid supplementation reduced tHcy and protected both VLDL and LDL against oxidation. These findings provide further support for the use of folic acid supplements to aid in the prevention of atherosclerosis.