This study examined whether purified fish oil (PFO) supplemented to an essential fatty acid deficient (EFAD) diet meets EFA needs in rats. The EFAD diet contained 10% hydrogenated coconut oil (HCO). A similar diet contained 7% HCO and 3% PFO which also provided 2.84% arachidonic acid (AA), 52.50% eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and 35.73% docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) but no linoleic acid (LA) or alpha linolenic acid (ALA). A 10% soybean oil control diet provided ample LA and ALA. After 4 weeks of feeding, blood glucose, plasma triglyceride and phospholipid fatty acid profiles, C-reactive protein (CRP), TNF and IL-6 were determined after saline or LPS injection. EFAD developed with the HCO diet with triene:tetraene ratios in plasma phospholipids >.20, which remained <.02 with the control and HCO+PFO diets. Mead acid levels significantly increased by a factor of 10 with the HCO diet compared to the AIN and HCO+PFO diets and were significantly lowest with the HCO+PFO diet. 18:1 n9 levels were significantly higher in plasma phospholipids and triglycerides with the HCO diet. CRP levels were significantly highest with the control diet and significantly lowest with the HCO diet. LPS significantly increased 18:1 n9 and cytokines, and decreased AA and plasma glucose in all diets and significantly increased plasma triglycerides and decreased plasma glucose in controls. Providing AA, EPA and DHA in EFAD prevents EFAD over the short-term as reflected in Mead acid production, triene:tetraene ratio, and de novo lipogenesis and may reduce the inflammatory response to LPS.
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