Lipid peroxidation products are elevated in fish oil diets even in the presence of added antioxidants

J Nutr. 1992 Nov;122(11):2190-5. doi: 10.1093/jn/122.11.2190.


Purified corn and fish oil diets with different types and concentrations of antioxidants were evaluated for oxidation products. In addition, a determination of different organ and carcass oxidation product levels was performed. Peroxide value and thiobarbituric acid assays were performed on the diets immediately after mixing (0 h) and 24, 48 and 72 h after being fed to mice. The AIN-recommended level of antioxidant addition (butylated hydroxytoluene, 0.02 g/100 g oil) and even the addition of 100 times this level (2 g/100 g oil), although decreasing the level of oxidation products, failed to totally prevent oxidative deterioration in diets high in fish oil. Furthermore, other antioxidants added in excess to the fish oil diets also failed to completely suppress oxidative deterioration of the diets and, in addition, when fed daily to mice for a period of 4 wk, caused an accumulation of lipid peroxidation products in certain organs (e.g., heart, skeletal muscle, mammary glands) and in the carcass. These results provide evidence that in the preparation of fish oil diets, the addition of antioxidants at the AIN-recommended level, or even levels substantially higher, does not completely suppress oxidative deterioration of experimental diets.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants*
  • Butylated Hydroxytoluene
  • Corn Oil
  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Fish Oils / administration & dosage*
  • Food Preservation
  • Hydroquinones
  • Lipid Peroxidation*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Peroxides / analysis
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances / analysis


  • Antioxidants
  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated
  • Fish Oils
  • Hydroquinones
  • Peroxides
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances
  • Menhaden oil
  • Butylated Hydroxytoluene
  • Corn Oil
  • 2-tert-butylhydroquinone