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J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr (Berl). 2005 Feb;89(1-2):45-54.

Effect of linseed oil supplementation on concentrations of (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids in liver phospholipids of rats fed diets containing either an oil rich in conjugated linoleic acids, sunflower oil or high-oleic acid sunflower oil.

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  • 1Institute of Nutritional Sciences, Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle/Saale, Germany.


This study investigated the metabolism of alpha-linolenic acid and the formation of eicosanoids in rats fed diets with three different dietary fats (30 g/kg diet): either a conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) preparation with a high concentration of cis-9, trans-11 CLA (32.2 g/100 g) and trans-10, cis-12 CLA (33.3 g/100 g) and a low concentration of linoleic acid (0.5 g/100 g), sunflower oil (SFO) with a high concentration of linoleic acid or high-oleic acid sunflower oil (HO-SFO) with a high concentration of oleic acid. Basal diets with those oils were fed for 4 weeks. In the fifth week, the same diets supplemented with 50 g of linseed oil/kg as a source of alpha-linolenic acid were fed. To study the effect of the oils on the metabolism of alpha-linolenic acid, the amounts of individual (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) in liver phospholipids (phosphatidyl choline and phosphatidyl ethanolamine) were determined; to study the effect on eicosanoid formation, the concentrations of various two-series eicosanoids in liver and plasma, the activity of the secretory phospholipase A2 and the relative mRNA concentrations of cyclooxygenases-1 and 2 in the liver were measured. Rats fed the CLA diets had the highest concentrations of long chain (n-3) PUFA deriving from delta6, delta5 and 14-desaturation of alpha-linolenic acid in liver phospholipids; rats fed the SFO diet had the lowest concentrations of those fatty acids. The concentration of arachidonic acid in liver phospholipids and the concentrations of eicosanoids in liver and plasma were lowest in rats fed the CLA diet and highest in the rats fed the SFO diet. Moreover, rats fed the CLA diet had a higher gene expression of delta6-desaturase in the liver than the other two groups of rats. The results show that feeding the CLA oil reduced the formation of arachidonic acid and eicosanoids but enhanced the formation of long chain (n-3) PUFA and their incorporation into tissue lipids when compared with feeding SFO or HO-SFO.

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