Increased intake of water and NaCl solutions in omega-3 fatty acid deficient monkeys

Sydney Reisbick, Martha Neuringer, William E. Connor, Susan Iliff-Sizemore

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    15 Scopus citations


    We previously reported that long-term omega-3 fatty acid deficiency is associated with increased water intake in rhesus monkeys. To determine whether the increase was specific to water, intakes of salt solutions were measured in 15-minute single-bottle tests. Deficient monkeys drank at least twice as much of all NaCl concentrations as controls. Overall intake decreased as salt concentration increased. In 2-bottle preference tests, deficient monkeys again drank more total fluid but neither preferred nor avoided normal saline compared to controls. When deprived of water, deficient monkeys concentrated urine as well as controls, demonstrating that the increased intake was not a result of renal failure or diabetes insipidus. Omega-3 fatty acids have roles both in neural membrane function and in metabolism of prostaglandins and other eicosanoids. Omega-3 fatty acid deficiency may affect drinking through changes in one or both of these functions.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1139-1146
    Number of pages8
    JournalPhysiology and Behavior
    Issue number6
    StatePublished - Jun 1991


    • Hypertonic saline
    • Nutritional deficiency
    • Omega-3 fatty acids
    • Polydipsia
    • Rhesus monkeys
    • Salt preference
    • Urine concentration
    • Water intake

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
    • Behavioral Neuroscience


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