Many studies have suggested that oils high in saturated fatty acids are responsible for the cholesterol-raising effect of saturated fat. The aim of this study was to compare the effect of palm oil (rich in saturated fatty acid) and egusi melon oil (rich in unsaturated fatty acids) on serum and liver lipids and their antioxidant status. Lipid profiles, malondialdehyde (MDA) levels and activities of glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) and glutathione reductase (GSSG-Rx) were determined in serum and liver of rats fed a high cholesterol diet for six weeks. Palm oil- and egusi melon-fed rats exhibited improved serum and liver lipid profiles and had a more significant reduction in serum and liver MDA levels as compared to control rats. Similarly, GSH-Px and GSSG-Rx activities were significantly higher in rats fed palm and egusi melon oils compared to the control. It could thus be concluded based on these findings, that palm oil and egusi melon improve serum and liver lipid profile in rats fed a high fat diet and their consumption could thus offer protection against lipid-related disorders.
Key words: Palm oil, egusi melon oil, saturated fatty acids, antioxidant.
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