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Open AccessArticle

Sex Differences in the Impact of the Mediterranean Diet on LDL Particle Size Distribution and Oxidation

Institute of Nutrition and Functional Foods (INAF), 2440 Hochelaga Boulevard, Laval University, Québec, QC G1V 0A6, Canada
School of Nutrition, Pavillon Paul-Comtois, 2425 rue de l'Agriculture, Laval University, Québec, QC G1V 0A6, Canada
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Pavillon Ferdinand-Vandry, 1050 Medicine Avenue, Laval University, Québec, QC G1V 0A6, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2015, 7(5), 3705-3723;
Received: 24 March 2015 / Revised: 30 April 2015 / Accepted: 5 May 2015 / Published: 15 May 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Pattern and Health)
PDF [429 KB, uploaded 15 May 2015]


Sex differences have been previously highlighted in the cardioprotective effects of the Mediterranean diet (MedDiet). The objective of this study was to investigate whether sex differences also exist with regard to LDL particle size distribution and oxidation. Participants were 37 men and 32 premenopausal women (24–53 years) with slightly elevated LDL-C concentrations (3.4–4.9 mmol/L) or total cholesterol/HDL-C ≥5.0. Variables were measured before and after a four-week isoenergetic MedDiet. Sex differences were found in response to the MedDiet for the proportion of medium LDL (255–260 Å) (p for sex-by-time interaction = 0.01) and small, dense LDL (sdLDL; <255 Å) (trend; p for sex-by-time interaction = 0.06), men experiencing an increase in the proportion of medium LDL with a concomitant reduction in the proportion of sdLDL, while an opposite trend was observed in women. A sex difference was also noted for estimated cholesterol concentrations among sdLDL (p for sex-by-time interaction = 0.03), with only men experiencing a reduction in response to the MedDiet. The MedDiet marginally reduced oxidized LDL (oxLDL) concentrations (p = 0.07), with no sex difference. Results suggest that short-term consumption of the MedDiet leads to a favorable redistribution of LDL subclasses from smaller to larger LDL only in men. These results highlight the importance of considering sex issues in cardiovascular benefits of the MedDiet. View Full-Text
Keywords: Mediterranean diet; LDL size; oxidized LDL; men; women Mediterranean diet; LDL size; oxidized LDL; men; women

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Bédard, A.; Corneau, L.; Lamarche, B.; Dodin, S.; Lemieux, S. Sex Differences in the Impact of the Mediterranean Diet on LDL Particle Size Distribution and Oxidation. Nutrients 2015, 7, 3705-3723.

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