Responses to oleic, linoleic and α-linolenic acids in high-carbohydrate, high-fat diet-induced metabolic syndrome in rats.J Nutr Biochem. 2013 Jul; 24(7):1381-92.JN
We investigated the changes in adiposity, cardiovascular and liver structure and function, and tissue fatty acid compositions in response to oleic acid-rich macadamia oil, linoleic acid-rich safflower oil and α-linolenic acid-rich flaxseed oil (C18 unsaturated fatty acids) in rats fed either a diet high in simple sugars and mainly saturated fats or a diet high in polysaccharides (cornstarch) and low in fat. The fatty acids induced lipid redistribution away from the abdomen, more pronounced with increasing unsaturation; only oleic acid increased whole-body adiposity. Oleic acid decreased plasma total cholesterol without changing triglycerides and nonesterified fatty acids, whereas linoleic and α-linolenic acids decreased plasma triglycerides and nonesterified fatty acids but not cholesterol. α-Linolenic acid improved left ventricular structure and function, diastolic stiffness and systolic blood pressure. Neither oleic nor linoleic acid changed the left ventricular remodeling induced by high-carbohydrate, high-fat diet, but both induced dilation of the left ventricle and functional deterioration in low fat-diet-fed rats. α-Linolenic acid improved glucose tolerance, while oleic and linoleic acids increased basal plasma glucose concentrations. Oleic and α-linolenic acids, but not linoleic acid, normalized systolic blood pressure. Only oleic acid reduced plasma markers of liver damage. The C18 unsaturated fatty acids reduced trans fatty acids in the heart, liver and skeletal muscle with lowered stearoyl-CoA desaturase-1 activity index; linoleic and α-linolenic acids increased accumulation of their C22 elongated products. These results demonstrate different physiological and biochemical responses to primary C18 unsaturated fatty acids in a rat model of human metabolic syndrome.