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Short Chain Saturated Fatty Acids Decrease Circulating Cholesterol and Increase Tissue PUFA Content in the Rat

Legrand, Philippe, Beauchamp, Erwan, Catheline, Daniel, Pédrono, Frédérique, Rioux, Vincent
Lipids 2010 v.45 no.11 pp. 975-986
alpha-linolenic acid, blood lipids, corn oil, diet, dodecanoic acid, fatty acid composition, high density lipoprotein cholesterol, highly unsaturated fatty acids, linoleic acid, low density lipoprotein, milk fat, myristic acid, olive oil, palmitic acid, rapeseed oil, rats, tissues, tripalmitin
This study investigates the effect of various dietary saturated fatty acid (SFA) profiles on plasma lipid parameters and tissue fatty acid composition in rats. The experiment was designed to monitor polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) levels, while examining different amounts and types of SFA. Four isocaloric diets were prepared, containing 10-11 mol% of fatty acids (FA) as linoleic acid (LNA) and 2.5 mol% as α-linolenic acid (ALA), leading to an identical and well-balanced LNA/ALA ratio. The initial rapeseed oil/corn oil mixture providing ALA and LNA was enriched with olive oil to prepare the olive oil diet. The butterfat diet was supplemented with butterfat, containing short-chain SFA (C4:0-C10:0, 17 mol% of FA), lauric acid (C12:0, 3.2 mol%), myristic acid (C14:0, 10.5 mol%) and palmitic acid (C16:0, 14.5 mol%). The saturates diet was supplemented with trilaurin, trimyristin and tripalmitin to obtain the same level of lauric, myristic and palmitic acids as the butterfat diet, without the short-chain SFA. The trimyristin diet was enriched with trimyristin only. The results showed that the butterfat diet contributed to specific effects, compared to the olive oil diet and the saturates and trimyristin diets: a decrease in plasma total, LDL- and HDL-cholesterol, higher tissue storage of ALA and LNA, and a higher level of (n-3) highly unsaturated fatty acids in some tissues. This study supports the hypothesis that in diets with identical well-balanced LNA/ALA ratios, short chain SFA may decrease circulating cholesterol and increase tissue polyunsaturated fatty acid content in the rat.