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J Oleo Sci. 2008;57(5):293-9.

Metabolism of odd-numbered fatty acids and even-numbered fatty acids in mouse.

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Department of Food Science and Technology, Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, Tokyo, Japan.


Fatty acids are converted into energy via beta-oxidation. Although almost all natural occurring fatty acids are even-numbered, there are some odd-numbered fatty acids too. The details of the metabolism rate of odd-numbered fatty acids, however, are not clear. In the present study, we simultaneously administered a triacylglycerol containing four types of labeled even-numbered (palmitic acid and stearic acid) and odd-numbered (pentadecanoic acid and heptadecanoic acid) fatty acids to mice to compare the rates of their metabolism. The rates of metabolism were evaluated based on the accumulation of the labeled fatty acids in the small intestine epithelium, liver, and epididymal fat. Odd-numbered fatty acids accumulated mainly in the epididymal fat. In contrast, there was no accumulation of even-numbered fatty acids observed in the small intestine epithelium, liver, or epididymal fat. These results suggest that odd-numbered fatty acids might not be favorable substrates for beta-oxidation-related enzymes.

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