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J Nutr. 2011 Jan;141(1):37-41. doi: 10.3945/jn.110.127225. Epub 2010 Nov 10.

Dietary flavonoids increase plasma very long-chain (n-3) fatty acids in rats.

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1
Laboratoire Cœur et Nutrition, TIMC-IMAG CNRS UMR 5525, Faculté de Médecine, Université Joseph Fourier, 38000 Grenoble, France.

Abstract

Flavonoids probably contribute to the health benefits associated with the consumption of fruit and vegetables. However, the mechanisms by which they exert their effects are not fully elucidated. PUFA of the (n-3) series also have health benefits. Epidemiological and clinical studies have suggested that wine flavonoids may interact with the metabolism of (n-3) PUFA and increase their blood and cell levels. The present studies in rats were designed to assess whether flavonoids actually increase plasma levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), the main very long-chain (n-3) PUFA. Rats were fed a corn-derived anthocyanin (ACN)-rich (ACN-rich) or ACN-free diet with constant intakes of plant and marine (n-3) PUFA for 8 wk (Expt. 1). Plasma fatty acids were measured by GC. The ACN-rich diet contained ~0.24 ± 0.01 mg of ACN/g pellets. There were no significant differences between groups in the main saturated, monounsaturated, and (n-6) fatty acids. In contrast, plasma EPA and DHA were greater in the ACN-rich diet group than in the ACN-free diet group (P < 0.05). We obtained similar results in 2 subsequent experiments in which rats were administered palm oil (80 μL/d) and consumed the ACN-rich or ACN-free diet (Expt. 2) or were supplemented with fish oil (60 mg/d, providing 35 mg DHA and 12 mg EPA) and consumed the ACN-rich or ACN-free diet (Expt. 3). In both experiments, plasma EPA and DHA were significantly greater in the ACN-rich diet group. These studies demonstrate that the consumption of flavonoids increases plasma very long-chain (n-3) PUFA levels. These data confirm previous clinical and epidemiological studies and provide new insights into the health benefits of flavonoids.

PMID:
21068183
DOI:
10.3945/jn.110.127225
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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