Analysis of oxidative DNA damage after human dietary supplementation with linoleic acid

T.M.C.M. de Kok*, I. Zwingman, E.J.C. Moonen, P.A.E.L. Schilderman-Houba, E.H. Rhijnsburger, G.R.M.M. Haenen, J.C.S. Kleinjans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Analysis of oxidative DNA damage after human dietary supplementation with linoleic acid.

de Kok TM, Zwingman I, Moonen EJ, Schilderman PA, Rhijnsburger E, Haenen GR, Kleinjans JC.

Department of Health Risk Analysis and Toxicology, University Maastricht, PO Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands.

It has been hypothesized that oxygen radicals generated by peroxidation of dietary linoleic acid may induce genetic damage and thereby increase cancer risk. We examined the effect of dietary supplementation with linoleic acid on the levels of oxidative DNA damage in peripheral lymphocytes and on the blood plasma antioxidant potential. Thirty volunteers received during 6 weeks either a high dose of linoleic acid (15 g/day), an intermediate dose of linoleic acid (7.5 g/day) or an isocaloric supplement without linoleic acid (15 g palmitic acid/day). After the intervention, no significant increase in oxidative DNA damage, measured as relative amounts of 7,8-dihydro-8-oxo-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-oxodG) in DNA from peripheral lymphocytes, was observed in both high and intermediate linoleic acid-supplemented groups (increase of respectively 13 and 21%; P>0.05). Also, the differences between levels of oxidative DNA damage in the high or intermediate linoleic acid-supplemented group and the control group receiving palmitic acid (23% decrease) were not significant. Furthermore, no statistically significant differences were found between the total antioxidant capacities of blood plasma from the different experimental groups. Plasma levels of malondialdehyde, an important end-product of lipid peroxidation, were not increased after supplementation, nor were effects found on the plasma concentrations of retinol, alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene. Despite the experimental design that excludes several forms of bias introduced in studies based on modulation of dietary composition, our results provide no indication of increased oxidative stress or genetic damage as a result of increased dietary intake of linoleic acid. Therefore, we see no scientific basis to reconsider the public health policy to stimulate the intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids aimed at the reduction of coronary heart diseases.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-358
Number of pages8
JournalFood and Chemical Toxicology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003


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