Oxidation of low density lipoprotein (LDL) has been implicated in atherogenesis. An increased content of oleic acid in LDL and the substitution of monounsaturated for polyunsaturated fatty acids in the diet reduce LDL oxidation. With 1H-NMR analysis, all LDL modifications, including the production of copper-induced aldehyde products, can be evaluated simultaneously. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether the fatty acid composition of LDL affected the NMR evaluation of aldehyde compounds. The LDL of the samples utilized were rich in oleic fatty acid (26.9%). After 48 h of exposure to copper sulfate, the mean production of malonyldialdehyde (MDA) by LDL was 31.2 nmol/mg of protein. Moreover, in the present study NMR did not reveal large amounts of peroxidative compounds since the nanomolar amounts of MDA produced after exposure to copper sulfate could not be detected. This study also demonstrated that the fatty acid composition (i.e. the oleic:linoleic acid ratio) must be taken into account in the evaluation of LDL peroxidation by NMR. In particular, a high concentration of oleic acid may limit the formation of large amounts of peroxidative compounds generated after exposure to the oxidant copper sulfate.
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