Divergent effects of eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acid ethyl esters, and fish oil on hepatic fatty acid oxidation in the rat.Biochim Biophys Acta. 2003 Nov 30; 1635(1):29-36.BB
The physiological activity of fish oil, and ethyl esters of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) affecting hepatic fatty acid oxidation was compared in rats. Five groups of rats were fed various experimental diets for 15 days. A group fed a diet containing 9.4% palm oil almost devoid of n-3 fatty acids served as a control. The test diets contained 4% n-3 fatty acids mainly as EPA and DHA in the form of triacylglycerol (9.4% fish oil) or ethyl esters (diets containing 4% EPA ethyl ester, 4% DHA ethyl ester, and 1% EPA plus 3% DHA ethyl esters). The lipid content of diets containing EPA and DHA ethyl esters was adjusted to 9.4% by adding palm oil. The fish oil diet and ethyl ester diets, compared to the control diet containing 9.4% palm oil, increased activity and mRNA levels of hepatic mitochondrial and peroxisomal fatty acid oxidation enzymes, though not 3-hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenase activity. The extent of the increase was, however, much greater with the fish oil than with EPA and DHA ethyl esters. EPA and DHA ethyl esters, compared to the control diet, increased 3-hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenase activity, but fish oil strongly reduced it. It is apparent that EPA and DHA in the form of ethyl esters cannot mimic the physiological activity of fish oil at least in affecting hepatic fatty acid oxidation in rat.