Oxidation of low density lipoproteins (LDL) favours cholesterol loading in macrophages and formation of “foam cells”, typical of the early atheroma lesions. LDL cholesterol oxidation generates oxysterols, extremely cytotoxic molecular species with diverse biological activities. Vegetable polyphenols are dietary components of pharmacological interest for their anti-oxidant properties. Ginkgo biloba L. (Gingkoaceae) leaves and Vaccinium myrtillus L. (Ericaceae) fruits are known for their beneficial effects in the treatment of various diseases involving free radicals and oxidative damage to biological lipids. In this study we investigated the effect of Ginkgo biloba L. and Vaccinium myrtillus L. extracts on the formation of cholesterol oxides during the photo induced oxidation of human LDL. The results demonstrate a concentration dependent inhibition of oxysterol formation in the presence of both extracts. Protection against oxidation was confirmed by the partial restoration of the normal electrophoretic mobility of LDL, which has been influenced by the UV irradiation. These effects extend knowledge of the therapeutic action of Ginkgo biloba L. and Vaccinium myrtillus L. as agents in anti-atherosclerotic regimens.
Phytomedicine – Elsevier
Published: Feb 1, 1997
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