Effects of dietary alpha- and gamma-linolenic acid on lipid metabolism in young and adult rats.Ann Nutr Metab 1988; 32(3):169-76AN
The effect of age on lipid metabolism was studied in rats fed diets containing safflower oil (SFO, 78% linoleic acid), evening primrose oil (EPO, 9.4% gamma-linolenic acid and 70% linoleic acid) or the mixture of safflower and linseed oil (SLO, 10.2% alpha-linolenic acid and 68% linoleic acid). The activity of hepatic HMG-CoA reductase declined with age in all groups. In adult rats, the reductase activity was high in the EPO group and low in the SLO group. The activity of hepatic cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase was independent of the diet or age. Hepatic delta 6-desaturase activity was low in adult rats fed EPO. In liver microsomal phospholipids, the percentage of 22:5 n-6 decreased while that of 22:6 n-3 increased with age. The ratio of linoleate metabolites to linoleate was high in the EPO group and low in the SLO group. Liver and serum cholesterol increased with age only in rats fed the SLO diet. Thus, the results indicated an enhanced susceptibility to dietary fats with age.