Dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids modify plasma lipids and red blood cell membrane composition but do not induce ∆6 desaturase mediated conversions in the domestic feline
MetadataShow full item record
This study explored the effects of dietary unsaturated fatty acids on feline lipid metabolism. It was hypothesized that high dietary linoleic acid (18:2n-6, LA) would enhance conversion to arachidonic acid (20:4n-6), enrichment of dietary long chain n-3 FA (LCn-3FA) would affect lipid parameters, and n-3 FAs incorporation may blunt n-6 FA incorporation. Twenty-nine cats were randomized into groups (n = 9, 10, 10), and fed for 28 days with blood collections on days 0, 14, and 28. Experimental diets consisted of a commercial diet, supplemented with 8g oil/100g kibble. Oil supplements and subsequent diets were: high-oleic sunflower (H diet) with 82% oleic acid (18:1n-9), Menhaden fish (M diet) with LCn-3FA, and safflower (S diet) with 75% 18:2n-6. Dietary 20:4n-6 content was: 0.03 for H and S, and 0.09 for M (g FA/kg diet). Nonesterified fatty acid (NEFA), triacylglycerol (TG), total cholesterol (TC), lipoproteincholesterol (LP-C), plasma phospholipid (PL) FAs, red blood cell membrane (RBC) FAs, and ∆5 and ∆6 desaturase indices were measured. Statistical analyses were performed with SAS PROC MIXED with p < 0.05 determining significance. Neither TC nor NEFA showed significant effects. Diet M resulted in significant TG lowering, despite typically low feline TGs. Similarly, pre-β LP-C (i.e. TG-rich VLDL) was decreased in diet M. Plasma PL FAs revealed significant accumulations of the following: 18:1n-9 in diet H, 18:2n-6 in diet S, and LCn-3FA in diet M. Despite high dietary 18:2n-6, plasma PL 20:4n-6 was not increased in diet S over diets H or M. Increased docosadienoic acid (20:2n-6) in diet S demonstrated that 18:2n-6 chain elongation occurred in deference to its ∆6 desaturation further substantiating low feline ∆6 desaturase activity. Interestingly, no diet M blunting of 20:4n-6 incorporation occurred because fish oil supplementation provided additional 20:4n-6. Tissue 20:4n-6 content appears to be diet-dependent. Accumulation of eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5n-3), but low affinity for docosahexaenoic acid (22:6n-3) occurred in diet M RBC membranes. After 28 days, plasma PLs reflect dietary intake more readily than RBC membranes. Fish oil supplementation resulted in plasma PL LCn-3FA enrichment and lowered plasma TG concentrations, both of which may have physiological significance in cats.
McClure, Melena Kathleen (2008). Dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids modify plasma lipids and red blood cell membrane composition but do not induce ∆6 desaturase mediated conversions in the domestic feline. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from