The protective effect of HDL against the development of atherosclerosis appears to be multifaceted involving a number of mechanisms. One of the major mechanisms is, however, the ability of HDL to decrease, directly or indirectly, the lipid peroxidation of LDL. The hydrolysis of lipid peroxides by PON1 makes a major contribution to this effect of HDL. Evidence is accumulating that the PON1 activity of human serum can be modulated by a variety of natural compounds and that these may increase or decrease the protective ability of PON1 and therefore of HDL on which it is exclusively located. Modulations of PON1 that enhance its activity may help to delay the atherosclerotic process.