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Biol Pharm Bull. 2003 Jun;26(6):766-70.

Cholesterol synthesis in mice is suppressed but lipofuscin formation is not affected by long-term feeding of n-3 fatty acid-enriched oils compared with lard and n-6 fatty acid-enriched oils.

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Department of Preventive Nutraceutical Sciences, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Nagoya City University, Tanabe-dori, Mizuho-ku, Nagoya 467-8603, Japan.


Hypocholesterolemic activity of dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids is observed after relatively short-term but not long-term feedings, and their long-term feedings are suspected to accelerate aging through tissue accumulation of lipid peroxides and age pigments (lipofuscin). To define the long-term effects of fats and oils in more detail, female mice were fed a conventional basal diet supplemented with lard (Lar), high-linoleic (n-6) safflower oil (Saf), rapeseed oil (Rap), high-alpha-linolenic (n-3) perilla oil (Per), or a mixture of ethyl docosahexaenoate and soybean oil (DHA/Soy) from 17 weeks to 71 weeks of age. The DHA/Soy and Per groups had decreased serum cholesterol levels compared with the Lar and Saf groups, but the difference between the Lar and Saf groups was not significant. The 3-hydroxy-3-methyglutary-CoA (HMG-CoA) reductase activity in the liver was also significantly lower in the Per and DHA/Soy groups. However, no significant difference in lipofuscin contents in the brain and liver was observed among the 5 dietary groups, despite significant differences in peroxidizability indices of the dietary and/or tissue lipids. These results indicate that n-3 fatty acid-rich oils are hypocholesterolemic by suppressing hepatic HMG-CoA reductase activity compared with animal fats and high-linoleic (n-6) oil, but tissue lipofuscin contents are not affected by a long-term feeding of fats and oils with different degree of unsaturation in mice.

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