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Antioxidant fortified margarine increases the antioxidant status


Objective: To assess the effect of supplementation with an antioxidant fortified margarine on the body's antioxidant status and on parameters of oxidative damage to lipids.

Design: Single blind, placebo controlled trial, two treatment groups balanced for sex, age and Quetelet Index.

Setting: Unilever Research Laboratorium, The Netherlands.

Subjects: Thirty-one healthy adult volunteers accomplished the study. Volunteers were recruited among inhabitants of the surrounding area of the research laboratory.

Interventions: Volunteers consumed during the four weeks either 15 g/d of an antioxidant fortified margarine (providing 121 mg vitamin C, 31 mg vitamin E, 2.7 mg α-carotene and 5.3 mg β-carotene) or an ordinary margarine. Fasting blood samples were taken before and at the end of the study.

Results: Consumption of the antioxidant fortified margarine significantly increased the levels of the supplied antioxidants in plasma and LDL as compared to the changes found after consumption of the control margarine, with the largest increases found in LDL levels of α-carotene (15.5-fold increase, 95% CI: 8.4–27.8-fold) and β-carotene (4.3-fold increase, 95% CI: 2.2–7.9-fold). This increased antioxidant status in the antioxidant fortified margarine group resulted in a significantly increased total antioxidant activity of LDL and resistance of LDL to oxidation (lag time and rate of oxidation) as compared to baseline but not in comparison to the changes found in the control group.

Conclusion: Consumption of moderate doses of vitamin E, vitamin C, α-carotene and β-carotene, supplied in a full-fat margarine and consumed as part of a normal diet, effectively increases the blood levels of these antioxidants.

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van het Hof, K., Tijburg, L., de Boer, H. et al. Antioxidant fortified margarine increases the antioxidant status. Eur J Clin Nutr 52, 292–299 (1998).

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  • antioxidants
  • α-tocopherol
  • ascorbic acid
  • α-carotene
  • β-carotene
  • low density lipoprotein
  • oxidation
  • humans

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