In view of the promising future for use of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) in the prevention of cancer and cardiovascular diseases, it is necessary to ensure that their consumption does not result in detrimental oxidative effects. The aim of the present work was to test a hypothesis that low doses of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) or docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) do not induce harmful modifications of oxidative cell metabolism, as modifications of membrane fatty acid composition occur. Wistar rats received by gavage oleic acid, EPA, or DHA (360 mg/kg body weight/day) for a period of 1 or 4 wk. Fatty acid composition and alpha-tocopherol content were determined for plasma, red blood cell (RBC) membranes, and liver, kidney, lung, and heart microsomal membranes. Susceptibility to oxidative stress induced by tert-butylhydroperoxide was measured in RBC. EPA treatment increased EPA and docosapentaenoic acid (DPA) content in plasma and in all the membranes studied. DHA treatment mainly increased DHA content. Both treatments decreased arachidonic acid content and n-6/n-3 PUFA ratio in the membranes, without modifying the Unsaturation Index. No changes in tissue alpha-tocopherol content and in RBC susceptibility to oxidative stress were induced by either EPA or DHA treatment. The data suggest that EPA and DHA treatments can substantially modify membrane fatty acids, without increasing susceptibility to oxidative stress, when administered at low doses. This opens the possibility for use of low doses of n-3 PUFA for chemoprevention without risk of detrimental secondary effects.
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - 1997|
- n-3 PUFA
- oxidative stress