In this study, we hypothesized that the incorporation of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in tissues will be higher when it is ingested as triacylglycerols (TAG) structured at the sn-2 position, which enhances efficacy and health benefits of dietary DHA n-3 supplementation. Ten-week-old Golden Syrian male hamsters were randomly allocated into 4 dietary groups with 10 animals in each: linseed oil (LSO; control group), fish oil (FO), fish oil ethyl esters (FO-EE), and structured DHA at the sn-2 position of TAG (DHA-SL). After 12 weeks, there were no variations in the hamsters' body composition parameters across dietary groups. The DHA-SL diet had the lowest values of total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, total lipids, and aspartate aminotransferase activity, whereas the inverse was observed for the FO diet. Glucose was increased in the LSO diet without affecting insulin and insulin resistance markers. Whereas n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid was increased in the brain of hamsters fed the DHA-SL diet, higher levels of n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid were observed in the liver and erythrocytes of the LSO. The highest omega-3 index was obtained with the DHA-SL diet. The principal component analyses discriminated DHA from other metabolites and set apart 4 clusters matching the 4 diets. Similarly, liver, erythrocytes, and brain were separated from each other, pointing toward an individual signature on fatty acid deposition. The structured sn-2 position DHA-containing TAG ameliorated blood lipids and fatty acid incorporation, in particular eicosapentaenoic acid and DHA in liver, erythrocytes, and brain, relative to commercially FOs, thus improving the health benefits of DHA due to its higher bioavailability.
Keywords: Fatty acid composition; Hamster; Plasma metabolites; Structured DHA; n-3 PUFA; sn-2 TAG.
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