The aim of our study was to determine whether the minor polar components of virgin olive oil could have favorable effects (1) on fasting and postprandial lipid profile and (2) on low-density lipoprotein (LDL) composition and susceptibility to oxidation in vitro. Ten normolipidic subjects were included in a crossover study (two diet periods of 3 weeks) and received either virgin olive oil (OO diet) or oleic acid rich sunflower oil. An oral fat load was performed at the end of each period. The plasma lipid levels were not significantly different after both diets in the fasting and postprandial states. A few minor variations of the LDL composition were observed only in the postprandial lipemia, and they were different after both diets. The LDL oxidation susceptibility was evaluated by the formation of conjugated dienes. With LDL isolated in the fasting state, the diene production decreased (p = 0.0573) only after the OO diet. The dienes determined at time 0 and the maximal dienes obtained during the oxidation reaction decreased (p = 0.0145 and p = 0.0184, respectively) only after the OO fat load. Nevertheless, the diene production decrease was not significant (p = 0.0848). Our results suggest a mild effect of minor components of virgin olive oil related to a decrease of LDL susceptibility to oxidation; further analyses are necessary to give clear conclusions about their role.

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