METHODS: Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into 11 groups; the control group was fed with rat chow, and the other groups were fed with chow that was mixed with 15% weight/weight palm or soy oils, which were either in a fresh form or heated once, twice, five, or ten times. Blood pressures were measured at the baseline and throughout the 24-week study. Plasma nitric oxide levels were assessed prior to treatment and at the end of the study. Following 24 weeks, the rats were sacrificed to investigate their vascular reactivity using the thoracic aorta.
RESULTS: Palm and soy oils had no detrimental effects on blood pressure, and they significantly elevated the nitric oxide contents and reduced the contractile responses to phenylephrine. However, trials using palm and soy oils that were repeatedly heated showed an increase in blood pressure, enhanced phenylephrine-induced contractions, reduced acetylcholine- and sodium nitroprusside-induced relaxations relative to the control and rats that were fed fresh vegetable oils.
CONCLUSIONS: The blood pressure-raising effect of the heated vegetable cooking oils is associated with increased vascular reactivity and a reduction in nitric oxide levels. The chronic consumption of heated vegetable oils leads to disturbances in endogenous vascular regulatory substances, such as nitric oxide. The thermal oxidation of the cooking oils promotes the generation of free radicals and may play an important contributory role in the pathogenesis of hypertension in rats.
SUBJECTS/METHODS: We used a cross-over designed feeding trial in 53 healthy Asian men and women (20-50 years) to test this hypothesis by exchanging 20% energy of palm olein (PO; control) with randomly interesterified PO (IPO) or high oleic acid sunflower oil (HOS). After a 2-week run-in period on PO, participants were fed PO, IPO and HOS for 6 week consecutively in randomly allocated sequences. Fasting (midpoint and endpoint) and postprandial blood at the endpoint following a test meal (3.54 MJ, 14 g protein, 85 g carbohydrate and 50 g fat as PO) were collected for the measurement of C-peptide, insulin, glucose, plasma glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide and glucagon-like peptide-1, lipids and apolipoproteins; pre-specified primary and secondary outcomes were postprandial changes in C-peptide and plasma glucose.
RESULTS: Low density lipoprotein cholesterol was 0.3 mmol/l (95% confidence interval (95% CI)) 0.1, 0.5; P<0.001) lower on HOS than on PO or IPO as predicted, indicating good compliance to the dietary intervention. There were no significant differences (P=0.58) between diets among the 10 male and 31 female completers in the incremental area under the curve (0-2 h) for C-peptide in nmol.120 min/l: GM (95% CI) were PO 220 (196, 245), IPO 212 (190, 235) and HOS 224 (204, 244). Plasma glucose was 8% lower at 2 h on IPO vs PO and HOS (both P<0.05).
CONCLUSION: Palmitic acid in the sn-2 position does not adversely impair insulin secretion and glucose homeostasis.
PURPOSE: In this study, we aimed to discover the role of oil palm phenolics (OPP) in influencing the gene expression changes caused by an atherogenic diet in mice.
METHODS: We fed mice with either a low-fat normal diet (14.6 % kcal/kcal fat) with distilled water, or a high-fat atherogenic diet (40.5 % kcal/kcal fat) containing cholesterol. The latter group was given either distilled water or OPP. We harvested major organs such as livers, spleens and hearts for microarray gene expression profiling analysis. We determined how OPP changed the gene expression profiles caused by the atherogenic diet. In addition to gene expression studies, we carried out physiological observations, blood hematology as well as clinical biochemistry, cytokine profiling and antioxidant assays on their blood sera.
RESULTS: Using Illumina microarrays, we found that the atherogenic diet caused oxidative stress, inflammation and increased turnover of metabolites and cells in the liver, spleen and heart. In contrast, OPP showed signs of attenuating these effects. The extract increased unfolded protein response in the liver, attenuated antigen presentation and processing in the spleen and up-regulated antioxidant genes in the heart. Real-time quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction validated the microarray gene expression fold changes observed. Serum cytokine profiling showed that OPP attenuated inflammation by modulating the Th1/Th2 axis toward the latter. OPP also increased serum antioxidant activity to normal levels.
CONCLUSION: This study suggests that OPP may possibly attenuate atherosclerosis and other forms of cardiovascular disease.