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Lipids. 1985 Dec;20(12):862-8.

Short term essential fatty acid deficiency in rats. Influence of dietary carbohydrates.


The effects of long term (8-14 wk) essential fatty acid (EFA)-deprived diets in rats are well documented. In the present study, we compared, in weanling rats, the effect of a short term (two wk) hydrogenated coconut oil, EFA-deprived, diet (D) with that of a corn oil, EFA-adequate, diet (A), using either sucrose (SU) or starch (ST) as carbohydrate. After two wk, rats fed the sucrose/hydrogenated coconut oil diet developed some characteristic features of EFA deprivation: slower growth rate, decreases in linoleic and arachidonic acid of plasma phospholipids and an increase in n-9 eicosatrienoic acid of plasma phospholipids. When rats ate the starch/hydrogenated coconut oil diet, there was a similar decrease in linoleic acid of plasma phospholipids, but only a small effect on growth rate and no change in the arachidonic acid content of plasma phospholipids. EFA deprivation and sucrose had opposite effects on plasma triglyceride (TG) levels: deprivation induced a decrease, whereas the sucrose induced an increase in very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) triglycerides. The observed decrease in plasma triglyceride during EFA deprivation might result from an activation of lipoprotein lipase during the early stages of deprivation.

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