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J Nutr. 1997 Sep;127(9):1752-7.

Perilla oil prevents the excessive growth of visceral adipose tissue in rats by down-regulating adipocyte differentiation.

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First Department of Internal Medicine, Gifu University School of Medicine, Gifu 500, Japan.


We examined the effect of dietary oils with different fatty acid compositions on the growth of visceral adipose tissue in rats. Rats were fed for 4 mo starting at weaning a basal diet containing (12 g/100 g diet) perilla oil rich in (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), safflower oil rich in (n-6) PUFA, olive oil rich in monounsaturated fatty acid, or beef tallow rich in saturated fatty acids. The amount of food consumed and body weight gain did not differ among the four dietary groups. The weight of the epididymal fat pad and the serum triglyceride concentration in perilla oil-fed rats were significantly lower (P < 0.05) than those of olive oil- and beef tallow-fed groups. The product of [(volume of individual adipocytes) x (number of adipocytes in epididymal fat pad)], which presumably represents total adipocyte volume in the fat pad, was significantly lower (P < 0.05) in perilla oil-fed rats than in beef tallow- and olive oil-fed groups. Expression of the late genes of adipocyte differentiation, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha, adipocyte P2 and adipsin, was significantly (P < 0. 05) down-regulated in epididymal fat tissue of rats that had been fed perilla oil rather than beef tallow or olive oil, whereas expression of the early gene, lipoprotein lipase, was not significantly affected. Greater levels (P < 0.05) of (n-3) PUFA in the membrane phospholipid fraction of the fat tissue were observed in perilla oil-fed rats than in the other dietary groups. These results suggest that perilla oil or (n-3) PUFA prevents excessive growth of adipose tissue in rats at least in part by suppressing the late phase of adipocyte differentiation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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