Reversibility of the effects of dietary fish oil on the fatty acid composition of the brain and retina of growing chicks

Gregory J. Anderson, Samina Van Winkle, William E. Connor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Dietary fish oil increases levels of (n - 3) fatty acids in the brain and retina of younger animals but has less effect in adults. The duration of the effects of fish oil in young animals, as well as the extent of reversibility of the effects, are unknown. Laying hens were fed either a fish oil diet or a soybean oil-based control diet. Resulting chicks were assigned to three diet groups: chicks from fish oil and soybean oil hens were continued on fish oil and soybean oil diets, respectively, for 0, 3, 6 or 9 weeks, and additional chicks from the fish oil hens were fed the fish oil diet for 0, 3, or 6 weeks and then reversed to the soybean oil diet for a period of 3 weeks. The fatty acid composition of the brain, retina, liver, and serum of the reversal chicks was compared with chicks fed the fish oil diet only or the soybean oil diet only. Brain levels of docosahexaenoic acid (22:5(n - 3)) decreased substantially when reversal from the fish oil diet to the control diet was begun at hatching, but did not decrease when reversal was begun at later times. Other (n - 3) fatty acids in the brain, docosapentaenoic acid (22:5(n - 3)) and eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5(n - 3)), decreased substantially at all ages, and to a greater extent than 22:6(n - 3). Brain arachidonic acid (20:4(n - 6)), which was low in fish oil chicks, rose to control after reversal at hatching, but recovered only partially when reversal was begun at later times. A similar pattern was observed in the retina. Serum and liver (n - 3) fatty acids fell to control in all reversal chicks, and (n - 6) fatty acids increased to control, except in chicks reversed at 6 weeks. This study demonstrates that by 3 weeks of age the chick brain strongly resists diet-induced lowering of high levels of 22:6(n - 3).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-246
Number of pages10
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA)/Lipids and Lipid Metabolism
Volume1126
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 22 1992

Keywords

  • (Chicken brain)
  • (n - 3) Fatty acid
  • Docosahexaenoic acid
  • Nutrition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Reversibility of the effects of dietary fish oil on the fatty acid composition of the brain and retina of growing chicks'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this