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Effect of dietary n-3/n-6 ratio on fatty acid composition of liver, meat and perirenal fat in rabbits

  • M. Bernardini (a1), A. Dal Bosco (a1) and C. Castellini (a1)


The metabolic pathways of dietary fatty acids were studied in rabbits by analysing the fatty acid profile of different tissues (liver, perirenal fat, longissimus lumborum muscle). Four groups of 24 hybrid males each were assigned to four semi-purified diets, varying in the source oflipids which differed in n-3/n-6 ratios: 180 g/kg sunflower (S), 80 g/kg flaxseed + 90 g/kg sunflower (SF), 160 g/kg flaxseed (F) and 60 g/kg fish oil (FI). The liver showed a very important rôle in fatty acid syntheses and was the tissue richest in long-chain (≥20 C) polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCP) of n-3 and n-6 series. The S diet gave the highest mono-unsaturated fatty acids and n-6 LCP (respectively, 201·9 and 384·9 g/kg, P < 0·01) also showing a clear antagonism v. n-3 LCP; the FI diet determined the highest enrichment of n-3 LCP (179·5 g/kg, P < 0·01). a-linolenic acid was efficiently converted into n-3 LCP mainly when п-ЗІп-6 ratio was high (Σn-3/С20: 4n-6: 2·74 and 3.61, P < 0·01 in flaxseed and fish-oil diet, respectively). The same trend occurred in the muscle but in a less consistent way. The adipose tissue more closely reflected the composition of the dietary fatty acids, showing variations mainly concerning polyunsaturated fatty acids (S diet), and LCP n-3 (FI diet: 44·9 g/kg, P < 0·01). Results showed the possibility of modifying the fatty acid profile of rabbit meat by dietary means and that the n-3/n-6 ratio of the food is crucial in regulating the relative presence of LCP n-3 or n-6 in meat products.



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Effect of dietary n-3/n-6 ratio on fatty acid composition of liver, meat and perirenal fat in rabbits

  • M. Bernardini (a1), A. Dal Bosco (a1) and C. Castellini (a1)


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