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Lipids. 1988 Jun;23(6):564-7.

Serum lipids in spontaneously hypertensive rats and Sprague-Dawley rats fed menhaden oil.

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  • 1Indiana University School of Medicine, South Bend Center.


Dietary n-3 fatty acids, abundant in fish oil, exert a variety of effects that attenuate cardiovascular disease. In this study, we assessed the effect of fish oil (menhaden oil) on the serum lipid profile in hypertensive and normotensive rats. Spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) or Sprague-Dawley rats (SD) were fed either standard powdered diet (L-485), or L-485 + 5% menhaden oil (MO) or L-485 + 5% corn oil (CO) from weaning through eight months of age. Systolic blood pressure (BP) was periodically determined on SHR. Serum lipid profiles were performed at eight months on samples taken from the exposed hearts of anesthetized, fasted rats. SHR, compared with SD (diets combined) had significantly lower triacylglycerols (TG), higher cholesterol (CHOL), higher high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL CHOL), higher low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL CHOL), and a higher LDL:HDL ratio. Comparisons among diets (strains combined) revealed that rats fed MO had the lowest values for TG, CHOL, LDL and LDL:HDL; HDL did not vary with diet. SHR were less responsive to diet-induced changes than were SD; no decrease in TG, LDL or LDL:HDL was observed in SHR, nor was degree of hypertension altered in SHR by the MO or CO diet. In summary, MO is more effective than CO in shifting the lipid profile of rats toward one that is less atherogenic. However, the SD rat is more susceptible to diet-induced lipid modification than is the SHR.

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