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Two weeks of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) supplementation increases synthesis-secretion kinetics of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids compared to 8 weeks of DHA supplementation

Metherel, Adam H., Lacombe, R.J. Scott, Aristizabal Henao, Juan J., Morin-Rivron, Delphine, Kitson, Alex P., Hopperton, Kathryn E., Chalil, Daniel, Masoodi, Mojgan, Stark, Ken D., Bazinet, Richard P.
The Journal of nutritional biochemistry 2018 v.60 pp. 24-34
biochemical pathways, blood, diet, docosahexaenoic acid, liver, nutrient requirements, omega-3 fatty acids, protocols, rats
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6n-3) must be consumed in the diet or synthesized from n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) precursors. However, the effect of dietary DHA on the metabolic pathway is not fully understood. Presently, 21-day-old Long Evans rats were weaned onto one of four dietary protocols: 1) 8 weeks of 2% ALA (ALA), 2) 6 weeks ALA followed by 2 weeks of 2% ALA + 2% DHA (DHA), 3) 4 weeks ALA followed by 4 weeks DHA and 4) 8 weeks of DHA. After the feeding period, 2H5-ALA and 13C20-eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20:5n-3) were co-infused and blood was collected over 3 h for determination of whole-body synthesis-secretion kinetics. The synthesis-secretion coefficient (ml/min, means ± SEM) for EPA (0.238±0.104 vs. 0.021±0.001) and DPAn-3 (0.194±0.060 vs. 0.020±0.008) synthesis from plasma unesterified ALA, and DPAn-3 from plasma unesterified EPA (2.04±0.89 vs. 0.163±0.025) were higher (P<.05) after 2 weeks compared to 8 weeks of DHA feeding. The daily synthesis-secretion rate (nmol/d) of DHA from EPA was highest after 4 weeks of DHA feeding (843±409) compared to no DHA (70±22). Liver gene expression of ELOVL2 and FADS2 were lower (P<.05) after 4 vs. 8 weeks of DHA. Higher synthesis-secretion kinetics after 2 and 4 weeks of DHA feeding suggests an increased throughput of the PUFA metabolic pathway. Furthermore, these findings may lead to novel dietary strategies to maximize DHA levels while minimizing dietary requirements.