Modulation of essential (n-6):(n-3) fatty acid ratios alters fatty acid status but not bone mass in piglets

J Nutr. 2002 Sep;132(9):2667-72. doi: 10.1093/jn/132.9.2667.

Abstract

Dietary (n-6) and (n-3) fatty acids have been implicated as important regulators of bone metabolism. The main objective of this research was to define the response of whole-body growth, fatty acid status and bone mass to a reduced dietary (n-6):(n-3) fatty acid ratio. A secondary objective was to determine whether there is an amount of fat x fatty acid ratio interaction for these outcomes. Piglets (n = 32) were randomized to 1 of 4 diets: group 1: [30 g fat/L + (n-6):(n-3) ratio 4.5:1]; group 2: [30 g fat/L + (n-6):(n-3) ratio 9.0:1]; group 3: [60 g fat/L + (n-6):(n-3) ratio 4.5:1]; and group 4: [60 g fat/L + (n-6):(n-3) ratio 9.0:1]. After 21 d, outcomes assessed included growth, fatty acid status and bone mass and metabolism. Growth and bone mass did not differ among the four groups nor did arachidonic acid (AA as g/100 g fatty acids) in plasma, adipose and brain. Piglets fed diets 1 and 3 with the lower (n-6):(n-3) ratio had lower liver AA (P < 0.001). Those fed diets 1 and 2 containing 30 g fat/L had lower docosahexaenoic acid (DHA as g/100 g fatty acids) in liver (P < 0.001), plasma (P = 0.019) and adipose tissue (P = 0.045). However, piglets fed diets 1 and 3 had higher (P < 0.001) brain DHA than those fed diets with a higher (n-6):(n-3) ratio. Higher plasma DHA was associated with less bone resorption (r = -0.44, P = 0.01). Therefore, elevation of dietary (n-3) fatty acids supports growth and fatty acid status while not compromising bone mass. The results may be of relevance to the nutritional management of preterm infants whose DHA status is often too low and bone resorption too high.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Arachidonic Acid / analysis
  • Arachidonic Acid / blood
  • Arachidonic Acid / metabolism
  • Bone Development / physiology
  • Bone and Bones / anatomy & histology*
  • Bone and Bones / metabolism
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids / analysis
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids / blood
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids / metabolism
  • Fatty Acids / analysis
  • Fatty Acids / blood
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / administration & dosage*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-6
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / administration & dosage*
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Male
  • Random Allocation
  • Swine
  • Weight Gain
  • alpha-Linolenic Acid / analysis
  • alpha-Linolenic Acid / blood
  • alpha-Linolenic Acid / metabolism

Substances

  • Fatty Acids
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-6
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated
  • alpha-Linolenic Acid
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids
  • Arachidonic Acid