Effects of whole body exposure to extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMF) on serum and liver lipid levels, in the rat

Lipids Health Dis. 2007 Nov 16;6:31. doi: 10.1186/1476-511X-6-31.


Background: [corrected] The effects of extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMF) on the blood serum and liver lipid concentrations of male Wistar rats were assessed.

Methods: Animals were exposed to a single stimulation (2 h) of ELF-EMF (60 Hz, 2.4 mT) or sham-stimulated and thereafter sacrificed at different times (24, 48 or 96 h after beginning the exposure).

Results: Blood lipids showed, at 48 h stimulated animals, a significant increase of cholesterol associated to high density lipoproteins (HDL-C) than those observed at any other studied time. Free fatty acid serum presented at 24 h significant increases in comparison with control group. The other serum lipids, triacylglycerols and total cholesterol did not show differences between groups, at any time evaluated. No statistical differences were shown on total lipids of the liver but total cholesterol was elevated at 24 h with a significant decrease at 96 h (p = 0.026). The ELF-EMF stimulation increased the liver content of lipoperoxides at 24 h.

Conclusion: Single exposures to ELF-EMF increases the serum values of HDL-C, the liver content of lipoperoxides and decreases total cholesterol of the liver. The mechanisms for the effects of ELF-EMF on lipid metabolism are not well understand yet, but could be associated to the nitric oxide synthase EMF-stimulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Cholesterol, HDL / radiation effects
  • Electromagnetic Fields*
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified / blood
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified / radiation effects
  • Lipid Metabolism / radiation effects*
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Liver / radiation effects*
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances / analysis
  • Whole-Body Irradiation


  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified
  • Lipids
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances