Cholesterol oxides: their occurrence and methods to prevent their generation in foods

Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2002;11(1):72-8. doi: 10.1046/j.1440-6047.2002.00270.x.


Eight cholesterol oxides are commonly found in foods with high cholesterol content, such as meat, egg yolk and full fat dairy products. Factors known to increase the production of cholesterol oxides in foods are heat, light, radiation, oxygen, moisture, low pH, certain pro-oxidising agents and the storage of food at room temperature. Processes, such as pre-cooking, freeze-drying, dehydration and irradiation, have all been reported to result in increased production of cholesterol oxides in meats. As prepared consumer foods are becoming increasingly popular, the consumption of higher levels of cholesterol oxides in foods is inevitable. An understanding of the mechanisms involved in the generation of cholesterol oxides may assist in their reduction in foods and possibly reduce the impact of these compounds on human health.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cholesterol / metabolism*
  • Food Handling*
  • Humans
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxides / metabolism*


  • Oxides
  • Cholesterol