Effect of dietary docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in phospholipids or triglycerides on brain DHA uptake and accretion.J Nutr Biochem. 2016 07; 33:91-102.JN
Tracer studies suggest that phospholipid DHA (PL-DHA) more effectively targets the brain than triglyceride DHA (TAG-DHA), although the mechanism and whether this translates into higher brain DHA concentrations are not clear. Rats were gavaged with [U-(3)H]PL-DHA and [U-(3)H]TAG-DHA and blood sampled over 6h prior to collection of brain regions and other tissues. In another experiment, rats were supplemented for 4weeks with TAG-DHA (fish oil), PL-DHA (roe PL) or a mixture of both for comparison to a low-omega-3 diet. Brain regions and other tissues were collected, and blood was sampled weekly. DHA accretion rates were estimated using the balance method. [U-(3)H]PL-DHA rats had higher radioactivity in cerebellum, hippocampus and remainder of brain, with no differences in other tissues despite higher serum lipid radioactivity in [U-(3)H]TAG-DHA rats. TAG-DHA, PL-DHA or a mixture were equally effective at increasing brain DHA. There were no differences between DHA-supplemented groups in brain region, whole-body, or tissue DHA accretion rates except heart and serum TAG where the PL-DHA/TAG-DHA blend was higher than TAG-DHA. Apparent DHA β-oxidation was not different between DHA-supplemented groups. This indicates that more labeled DHA enters the brain when consumed as PL; however, this may not translate into higher brain DHA concentrations.