A correlation between dietary lipids and cellular enzyme activities is a problem that has only been partially addressed by nutritionists. Therefore, changes in the fatty acid composition and the activities of some key metabolic enzymes (ubiquinol-2-cytochrome c reductase (EC 220.127.116.11), cytochrome oxidase (EC 18.104.22.168) and ATPase (EC 22.214.171.124)) in the mitochondria of liver, heart and brain of rats fed on diets differing extensively in their polyunsaturated fatty acid compositions have been investigated. The results showed that fatty acid compositional changes brought about by the dietary differences were associated with extensive changes in the activities of these key enzymes in the mitochondria. The extent of the influence differed considerably with the period over which the diets were fed. The role of dietary lipids to effect changes through the preservation of membrane structural integrity is discussed.