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Diet plays a seminal role in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease. Therefore the present study was conducted to verify the cholesterol lowering and antioxidant activities of two promising Mediterranean oils namely almond and olive oils and to elucidate some of their mechanism of actions. The study included 60 rats classified into 6 groups (10/group).G1: rats fed on standard basal diet (-ve controls);G2 and G3: rats fed on standard diet supplemented with either 10% almond oil or 10% olive oil;G4: rats fed on atherogenic diet (+ve controls); G5 and G6:rats fed on atherogenic diet supplemented with either 10% almond oil or 10% olive oil. The experiment lasted for 10 weeks. Comparing to the +ve control group supplementations of the atherogenic diet with either almond or olive oils induced significant reductions (p<0.05) in plasma levels oftotal cholesterol (TC) and LDL-C, VLDL-C, triglycerides (TG), free fatty acids(FFA) levels and TC/HDL ratio.The same was observed for the %oβ- apo lipoprotein(LDL),% pre β-apo LP (VLDL), malodialdehyde (MDA) and liver HMG-CoA reductase activity. However, these supplementations also induced significant elevations (p<0.05) in plasma HDL-C level, % of α- apo LP (HDL),plasma total antioxidant capacity(TAOC) and for almond oil only, plasma lipoprotein lipase activity(LPL). The overall results, therefore, is toward a less atherogenic lipid profile. In conclusion almond oil was as effective as olive oil in improving blood lipids and in ameliorating oxidative stress and this may be due to the interactive or additive effects of the numerous bioactive constituents of these oils, resulting in downregulation of HMG-CoA reductase in the liver and up- regulation of LPL in plasma.
Keywords: almond oil, olive oil, atherogenic diet, apo-lipoproteins