Objective: The aim of our study was to assess the changes in the fatty acid composition of low density lipoproteins (LDL) after sustained consumption of olive oil at real-life doses (25 mL/day) and their relationship with lipid oxidative damage.
Methods: A multi-center randomized, cross-over, clinical trial with 3 similar types of olive oils, but with differences in the phenolic content, was conducted on 200 healthy European subjects. Intervention periods were of 3 weeks separated by 2-week washout periods. The LDL fatty acid content was measured in samples drawn at baseline and after the last intervention period.
Results: After olive oil ingestion oleic acid concentration in LDL increased (1.9%; p < 0.001) and those of linoleic (1.1%; p < 0.002) and arachidonic acid (0.5%; p < 0.001) decreased. Monounsaturated/polyunsaturated fatty acid and oleic/linoleic acid ratios in LDL increased after olive oil consumption. An inverse relationship between the oleic/linoleic acid ratio and biomarkers of oxidative stress was observed. One unit increase in the oleic/linoleic acid ratio was associated with a decrease of 4.2 microg/L in plasma isoprostanes.
Conclusion: Consumption of olive oil at real-life doses improved the fatty acid profile in LDL, the changes being associated with a reduction of the oxidative damage to lipids.