Dietary flavonoid intake has been reported to be inversely related to mortality from coronary heart disease, and the anti-atherosclerotic effect of flavonoids is considered to be due probably to their antioxidant properties. Oxidation of low density lipoprotein (LDL) has been reported to be induced by the constituent cells of the arterial wall. Accordingly, we examined the effect of pretreatment with tea flavonoids, such as theaflavin digallate, on the ability of cells to oxidize LDL. Theaflavin digallate pretreatment of macrophages or endothelial cells reduced cell-mediated LDL oxidation in a concentration- (0-400 μM) and time- (0-4 hr) dependent manner. This inhibitory effect of flavonoids on cell-mediated LDL oxidation was in the order of theaflavin digallate > theaflavin ≥ epigallocatechin gallate > epigallocatechin > gallic acid. Further, we investigated the mechanisms by which flavonoids inhibited cell-mediated LDL oxidation using macrophages and theaflavin digallate. Theaflavin digallate pretreatment decreased superoxide production of macrophages and chelated iron ions significantly. These results suggest that tea flavonoids attenuate the ability of the cell to oxidize LDL, probably by reducing superoxide production in cells and chelating iron ions.
- Cell-mediated LDL oxidation
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