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Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 1999 Feb;23(2):311-7.

Alcohol consumption in rhesus monkeys depletes tissues of polyunsaturated fatty acids and alters essential fatty acid metabolism.

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Laboratory of Membrane Biochemistry and Biophysics, National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse, Rockville, Maryland 20852, USA.


Rhesus monkeys that were maintained on an adequate diet but with low levels of essential fatty acids (1.4 en% linoleic, 18:2n-6, and 0.08 en%, linolenic acid, 18:3n-3) became depleted of 20:4n-6, and 22: 6n-3 in their livers, plasma lipoproteins, and erythrocytes during an 18-month period of alcohol exposure (2.6 g kg(-1) day(-1)). Monkeys that consumed alcohol also had higher plasma concentrations of 4-hydroxynonenal compared to controls. The metabolism of 18:2n-6 and 18:3n-3 were evaluated in both groups of animals using deuterium-labeled substrates over a 9-day period. Alcohol consumption did not appear to have an effect on the absorption of either 2H5-18:2n-6 or 2H5-18:3n-3 ethyl esters into the circulation after a single oral dose. However, there was a greater enrichment of deuterium in the biosynthesized fatty acids, 20:4n-6 and 22:6n-3, in the plasma of the monkeys exposed to alcohol compared to controls. These results suggest that chronic alcohol exposure may lead to a stimulation of the rate at which long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids are biosynthesized to compensate for an increase in lipid peroxidation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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