Digestion, absorption and effects on cholesterol absorption of menhaden oil, fish oil concentrate and corn oil by rats

I. S. Chen, S. S. Hotta, I. Ikeda, M. M. Cassidy, A. J. Sheppard, G. V. Vahouny

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Adult male rats were surgically provided with a drainage catheter in the left thoracic lymphatic channel and an indwelling duodenal catheter for constant infusion of physiological saline-5% glucose. After an overnight fast, animals were given a single duodenal dose of an aqueous emulsion containing one of the following: oleic acid, corn oil, menhaden oil or a fish oil concentrate (FOC) and [1,2-3H]cholesterol. Digestion and absorption were estimated by recovering the total fatty acids in the thoracic duct lymph over a 24-h collection period (after subtraction of the 'baseline' endogenous fatty acids in the lymph). Cholesterol absorption in the thoracic duct lymph was significantly reduced (P<0.05) in the presence of menhaden oil or FOC compared to that in the presence of corn oil. With various fat feedings, the major increases in lymph fatty acids were directly related to the dietary fatty acid content. The relative amounts of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and arachidonic acid (AA) in the thoracic lymph were influenced by the lipid content of the emulsion. The EPA/AA ratio in control oleic acid and corn oil feedings ranged from 0.12 to 0.25. When marine oil was administered, the EPA/AA ratio was 0.78-0.98. The total amount of fatty acids found in the lymph after marine oil feeding was significantly less (P<0.01) than that found after corn oil feeding. The results suggested that the digestion and absorption of menhaden oil and FOC were decreased as compared with corn oil. The EPA/AA ratio was increased in the thoracic lymph after dietary fish oil feeding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1676-1680
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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