Fish oil and 3-thia fatty acid have additive effects on lipid metabolism but antagonistic effects on oxidative damage when fed to rats for 50 weeks

J Nutr Biochem. 2012 Nov;23(11):1384-93. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2011.08.006. Epub 2012 Jan 4.


The 3-thia fatty acid tetradecylthioacetic acid (TTA) is a synthetic modified fatty acid, which, similar with dietary fish oil (FO), influences the regulation of lipid metabolism, the inflammatory response and redox status. This study was aimed to penetrate the difference in TTA's mode of action compared to FO in a long-term experiment (50 weeks of feeding). Male Wistar rats were fed a control, high-fat (25% w/v) diet or a high-fat diet supplemented with either TTA (0.375% w/v) or FO (10% w/v) or their combination. Plasma fatty acid composition, hepatic lipids and expression of relevant genes in the liver and biomarkers of oxidative damage to protein were assessed at the end point of the experiment. Both supplements given in combination demonstrated an additive effect on the decrease in plasma cholesterol levels. The FO diet alone led to removal of plasma cholesterol and a concurrent cholesterol accumulation in liver; however, with TTA cotreatment, the hepatic cholesterol level was significantly reduced. Dietary FO supplementation led to an increased oxidative damage, as seen by biomarkers of protein oxidation and lipoxidation. Tetradecylthioacetic acid administration reduced the levels of these biomarkers confirming its protective role against lipoxidation and protein oxidative damage. Our findings explore the lipid reducing effects of TTA and FO and demonstrate that these bioactive dietary compounds might act in a different manner. The experiment confirms the antioxidant capacity of TTA, showing an improvement in FO-induced oxidative stress.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Diet, High-Fat
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Enzymes / genetics
  • Enzymes / metabolism
  • Fatty Acids / analysis
  • Fatty Acids / blood
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism
  • Fish Oils / pharmacology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Ion Channels / genetics
  • Lipid Metabolism / drug effects*
  • Lipids / blood
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mitochondria, Liver / drug effects
  • Mitochondria, Liver / metabolism
  • Mitochondrial Proteins / genetics
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Sulfides / pharmacology*
  • Uncoupling Protein 2
  • Uncoupling Protein 3


  • Antioxidants
  • Enzymes
  • Fatty Acids
  • Fish Oils
  • Ion Channels
  • Lipids
  • Mitochondrial Proteins
  • Sulfides
  • Uncoupling Protein 2
  • Uncoupling Protein 3
  • 1-(carboxymethylthio)tetradecane
  • Cholesterol