Title: Impact of diets with corn oil or olive/sunflower oils on DNA damage in healthy young men

Key words: plant fats, plant oils, Vit E, PUFAs, DNA damage,

Date: May 2001

Category: Special diets

Type: Article

Author: Elmadfa I, Park E, Eur J Nutr 1999 Dec;38(6):286-92

Impact of diets with corn oil or olive/sunflower oils on DNA damage in healthy young men

BACKGROUND: Plant fats and oils are major sources of mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids as well as vitamin E, the major fat-soluble antioxidants in human nutrition. Dietary antioxidants are expected to reduce cancer risk by minimizing DNA damage.
AIM OF THE STUDY: To compare the effects of gamma-tocopherol rich corn oil and the mixture of the alpha-tocopherol rich olive/sunflower oil on plasma concentration of tocopherols and on the frequency of sister chromatid exchange (SCE), an indicator of DNA damage.
METHODS: This study had a double-blind, cross-over design and was conducted in 20 normal healthy non-smoking males aged 19-31 years. Design included a 2-week adjustment period and two 2-week test periods in which diets containing 30% energy as fat including either 80 g of corn oil (CO) (20 mg alpha-tocopherol, 100 mg gamma-tocopherol) or 80 g of olive/ sunflower oil (OSO) (24 mg alpha-tocopherol, 2.4 mg gamma-tocopherol), as the main fat-source, were given. Blood samples for analysis of SCE rate and content of tocopherols were collected at the beginning (T0), after adjustment (T1) and after the test period (T2) in intervals of 2 weeks. RESULTS: After two weeks of the corn oil diet, the plasma concentration of gamma-tocopherol increased but alpha-tocopherol decreased significantly compared to the olive/sunflower oil diet. The concentration of alpha-tocopherol increased (CO: 22.99 +/- 1.11 vs. OSO: 24.40 +/- 1.49 micromol/l) and that of gamma-tocopherol decreased (CO: 4.19 +/- 0.29 vs. OSO: 2.99 +/- 0.25 micromol/l) after the olive/sunflower oil diet. Intake of the corn oil diet was associated with reduced SCE rate and intensity, whereas there was no change in SCE after the olive/sunflower oil diet (CO: 7.66 +/- 0.25 vs. OSO: 8.06 +/- 0.47 mean SCE/cell)
CONCLUSIONS: The combination of gamma-tocopherol with alpha-tocopherol in corn oil diet despite the lower alpha-tocopherol equivalents/diene acid equivalents ratio achieved better protection against DNA damage than alpha-tocopherol alone in the olive/sunflower oil diet.