Effect of ascorbic acid on prevention of hypercholesterolemia induced atherosclerosis.

Mol Cell Biochem. 2006 Apr;285(1-2):143-7. Epub 2006 Feb 14.  

Das S, Ray R, Snehlata, Das N, Srivastava LM.
Department of Biochemistry, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi, India. 

The notion that oxidation of lipids and propagation of free radicals may contribute to the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis is supported by a large body of evidence. To circumvent the damage caused by oxygen free radicals, antioxidants are needed which provide the much needed neutralization of free radical by allowing the pairing of electrons. In this study we have investigated the effect of ascorbic acid, a water soluble antioxidant on the development of hypercholesterolemia induced atherosclerosis in rabbits. Rabbits were made hypercholesterolemic and atherosclerotic by feeding 100 mg cholesterol/day. Different doses of ascorbic acid were administered to these rabbits. Low dose of ascorbic acid (0.5 mg/100 g body weight/day) did not have any significant effect on the percent of total area covered by atherosclerotic plaque. However, ascorbic acid when fed at a higher dose (15 mg/100 g body weight/day) was highly effective in reducing the atherogenecity. With this dose the percent of total surface area covered by atherosclerotic plaque was significantly less (p < 0.001). This suggests that use of ascorbic acid may have great promise in the prevention of hypercholesterolemia induced atherosclerosis.