Dietary lipid profile is a determinant of tissue phospholipid fatty acid composition and rate of weight gain in rats

J Nutr. 1993 Mar;123(3):512-9. doi: 10.1093/jn/123.3.512.


Modifications in membrane fatty acid composition and insulin action are possible through dietary intervention. We examined the metabolic fate of (n-3) fatty acids in male Wistar rats, using three isocaloric, high fat diets. The ET-L, OL-L and SAF-L diets contained edible tallow, olive oil and safflower oil, respectively, with identical amounts of (n-3) fatty acids as linseed oil. Despite isocaloric feeding, weight gain was lower (P < 0.001) in rats fed the more highly saturated ET-L diet (69 +/- 8 g) than in those fed either the high (n-9) fatty acid OL-L diet (93 +/- 2 g) or the high (n-6) fatty acid SAF-L diet (108 +/- 4 g). Analysis of red quadricep fatty acid composition revealed phospholipid (n-3) fatty acid levels in the ET-L-fed group (21.6 +/- 0.8 g/100 g fatty acids) to be significantly higher than in either the OL-L-fed (17.7 +/- 0.6 g/100 g fatty acids, P < 0.05) or SAF-L-fed (15.3 +/- 0.7 g/100 g fatty acids, P < 0.05) group. A similar pattern was observed in other muscles and white adipose tissue. A follow-up study using 14C-labeled (n-3) fatty acids in the diet showed greater (n-3) fatty acid incorporation in the ET-L-fed group relative to the other two groups and conversely lower 14CO2 production than in the SAF-L-fed group. These results demonstrate that metabolic fate of dietary fatty acids is strongly influenced by the overall fatty acid profile of the diet.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage*
  • Energy Intake
  • Fats / administration & dosage
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / metabolism
  • Linseed Oil / administration & dosage
  • Male
  • Muscles / metabolism
  • Olive Oil
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Phospholipids / metabolism*
  • Plant Oils / administration & dosage
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Safflower Oil / administration & dosage
  • Triglycerides / metabolism
  • Weight Gain*


  • Dietary Fats
  • Fats
  • Fatty Acids
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Olive Oil
  • Phospholipids
  • Plant Oils
  • Triglycerides
  • Safflower Oil
  • Linseed Oil
  • tallow