The effects of cacao liquor polyphenols (CLP) on the susceptibility of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) to oxidation in hypercholesterolemic rabbits were examined. Six Japanese white rabbits which had been fed a high cholesterol diet (HCD) for 3 weeks were fed HCD containing 1% CLP for the following 10 days. The susceptibility of LDL to oxidation induced by 2-2'-azobis(4-methoxy-2, 4-dimethylvaleronitrile) (V-70) was evaluated by measuring the production of conjugated dienes and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS). The lag time was significantly prolonged from 37.7 min before intake of CLP to 42.9, 44.2 and 45.8 min after 4, 7 and 10 days of CLP intake. TBARS production after intake of CLP was also markedly reduced compared with the level before intake. There was no difference in plasma lipid concentrations comparing the levels before and after CLP intake. In conclusion, in hypercholesterolemic rabbits, orally administered CLP was absorbed and distributed to the blood, and the resistance of LDL to oxidation was thereby increased.
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