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The effect of six different C18 fatty acids on body fat and energy metabolism in mice

  • M. Javadi (a1), H. Everts (a2), R. Hovenier (a2), S. Kocsis (a3), Æ. Lankhorst (a4), A. G. Lemmens (a4), J. Th. Schonewille (a2), A. H. M. Terpstra (a4) and A. C. Beynen (a2)...


We studied the effects of five high-fat semi-purified diets varying at a 4 % (w/w) level in either stearic, oleic, linoleic, α-linolenic, or γ-linolenic acid on body fat and energy metabolism in BALB/c mice. A diet containing caprylic, capric, lauric, and myristic acid was used as a reference diet and a diet with 4 % conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) was used as a positive control as it is known to effectively lower body fat in mice. The diets were fed for 35 d. Body fat was significantly lower in the CLA group than in the other groups but was not significantly different among the non-CLA groups. Among the non-CLA groups, the linoleic acid group tended to have the highest and the α-linolenic acid group the lowest proportion of body fat. In energy-balance studies, the percentage of energy intake that was stored in the body was significantly lower in the CLA group compared with the other dietary groups. The percentage of energy intake eliminated in excreta was highest in the stearic acid group followed by the γ-linolenic acid group. These results were reflected in apparent fat digestibility, which was lowest in the stearic acid group. The percentage of energy intake expended as heat was highest in the CLA-fed mice. The results of the present study suggest that body fat and energy accretion in mice fed diets containing different C18 fatty acids is by far the lowest with CLA and that linoleic acid produced the highest fat intake and energy accretion.

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Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Mrs M. Javadi, fax +31 30 253 1817, email


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