Lipid oxidation products (LOPs)

lipid oxidation products LOPS

Don’t try this at home!

Pour a tablespoon of an omega 6 rich oil (like soybean or corn oil) in a pan. Turn the heat to medium-high. Within a minute or so, you’ll notice that smoke creeps up and a rancid odor fills the kitchen.

You’ve just created DNA-damaging compounds called lipid oxidation products (LOPs). It’s time to toss the oil (don’t breathe the fumes!) and start over.

How Lipid Oxidation Products are Formed

Lipid oxidation products (LOPs) are created by the degradation of oils—by heat, aging or chemicals.

As these oils break down, they generate free radicals that are harmful to cells and have been found to increase the risk of cancer and heart disease.

In our diet, lipid oxidation products (LOPs) primarily come from the heating of unstable oils especially the polyunsaturated fatty acids omega-6.

While omega-3 is also a polyunsaturated fat, research shows these long-chain fats do not generally increase oxidative stress or lipid peroxidation, but rather offer protection from degradation and rancidity. It’s important to note, however, that plant-based nutriment oils rich in omega-3’s (like flaxseed oil ) are delicate and should be used only for drizzling.

To protect yourself, opt for oils that are more stable and do not readily form lipid oxidation products (LOPs). In general, saturated fats – like grass-fed butter, lard, and coconut oil – are the best choices. See Flash Points for more information appropriate uses of culinary oils.


Cytotoxixity and genotoxicity of lipid oxidation products. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol 57, 779S-785S. Parra D, Bandarra NM, Kiely M, Thorsdottir I, Martínez JA. Niki E. Lipid peroxidation: physiological levels and dual biological effects.Free Radic Biol Med. 2009 Sep 1;47(5):469-84. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2009.05.032. Epub 2009 Jun 24.

About The Author

Kelley Herring, founder of Healing Gourmet, is a natural nutrition enthusiast with a background in biochemistry. Her passion is educating on how foods promote health and protect against disease and creating simple and delicious recipes for vibrant health and enjoyment.

Kelley Herring – who has written posts on Healing Gourmet.


  1. […] heat, the fat molecules become OXIDIZED and dangerous compounds form. These compounds, known as lipid oxidation products (LOPs), wreak havoc at a cellular level. Consuming these altered compounds on a regular basis is like […]

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