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Lipids Health Dis. 2018 Jun 15;17(1):140. doi: 10.1186/s12944-018-0723-7.

Green leafy vegetables in diets with a 25:1 omega-6/omega-3 fatty acid ratio modify the erythrocyte fatty acid profile of spontaneously hypertensive rats.

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Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, AL, 36088, USA.
Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, AL, 36088, USA.
Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, AL, 36088, USA.



In addition to the actual composition of the diet (i.e. nutrient composition, food groups), the omega-6/omega-3 fatty acid ratio has been demonstrated to influence the tissue fatty acid profile and subsequently the risk for cardiovascular and other diseases. Likewise, the consumption of green leafy vegetables (GLVs) may favorably reduce the risks associated with disease. Although an ~ 3:1 omega-6/omega-3 fatty acid ratio (ω-6/ω-3 FAR) is recommended, the typical American diet has an ~ 25:1 ω-6/ω-3 FAR. Previous research affirms the ability of collard greens (CG), purslane (PL), and sweet potato greens (SPG) to improve the hepatic profile of spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs). The aim of the present study was to determine the influence of GLVs, incorporated (4%) into diets with a 25:1 ω-6/ω-3 FAR, on the erythrocyte fatty acid profile of male SHRs.


SHRs (N = 50) were randomly assigned to one of five dietary groups - standardized control (AIN-76A), Control (25:1 ω-6/ω-3 FAR), CG (25:1 ω-6/ω-3 FAR + 4% CG), PL (25:1 ω-6/ω-3 FAR + 4% PL) or SPG (25:1 ω-6/ω-3 FAR + 4% SPG). Following 6 weeks consumption of diets, SHRs erythrocyte fatty acid profiles were determined by gas-liquid chromatography.


Significantly lower percentages of total saturated fatty acids (p < 0.05) and greater percentages of polyunsaturated fatty acids were present among SHR erythrocytes following the consumption of diets containing CG, PL and SPG. Total polyunsaturated fatty acids were greatest among SHRs consuming diets containing purslane.


The present study demonstrates the ability of GLVs to mitigate the potential effects of an elevated ω-6/ω-3 FAR, which may contribute to an atherogenic fatty acid profile, inflammation and disease pathogenesis. Dietary recommendations for disease prevention should consider the inclusion of these GLVs, particularly among those consuming diets with an ω-6/ω-3 FAR that may promote disease.


Collard greens; Erythrocyte; Fatty acid profile; Omega-6/omega-3 fatty acid ratio; Purslane; Spontaneously hypertensive rat; Sweet potato greens

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