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oils rich in alpha-linolenic acid independently protect against characteristics of fatty liver disease in the delta-6 desaturase mouse

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Title: oils rich in alpha-linolenic acid independently protect against characteristics of fatty liver disease in the delta-6 desaturase mouse
Author: Monteiro, Jessica
Department: Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences
Program: Human Health and Nutritional Sciences
Advisor: Ma, David
Abstract: The biological activity of α-linolenic acid (ALA) is poorly understood and primarily associated with its conversion to eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). This study used the Δ6 desaturase knockout (D6KO) mouse, which lacks Δ6 desaturase and therefore cannot convert ALA, to evaluate the independent effects of ALA on preventing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). First, the capacity of very long chain fatty acids to rescue the D6KO lipid profile was established. Next, to evaluate the independent effects of ALA, D6KO or wild-type mice were fed diets containing lard, canola, flaxseed, or fish oil. Following treatment, liver phospholipid fatty acid composition was evaluated and livers were scored for steatosis and inflammation. Glucose tolerance was also evaluated. D6KO mice fed ALA-rich diets had lower liver lipid accumulation, lower hepatic inflammation (8 weeks) and improved glucose tolerance (20 weeks) relative to lard-fed D6KO mice. Overall, this thesis supports an independent biological role for ALA.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/3870
Date: 2012-06
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