Fish oil combined with SCFA synergistically prevent tissue accumulation of NEFA during weight loss in obese mice

Maiken Højgaard Pedersen, Lotte Lauritzen, Lars Hellgren

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    Based on their proposed metabolic effects, we examined whether fish oil (FO) and SCFA, alone or in combination, accelerate weight loss and the resultant metabolic improvements. Obesity was induced in male C57BL/6J mice by high-energy feeding for 10 weeks. The mice were transferred to a low-fat diet (2·5w%) for 4 weeks, the source of fat being either FO, a lard–safflower oil mix (control), or both types combined with SCFA. Weight, fasting insulin, tissue and serum lipid concentrations, as well as mRNA amount of genes related to adipose inflammation and hepatic fat oxidation were determined. All groups lost weight and showed reduced fasting insulin concentrations and reduced liver TAG. However, weight loss on the control-fat diet caused significant increase in hepatic and cardiac NEFA. Substituting 20 % of the fat with SCFA increased weight loss by 48 % and reduced fasting insulin 1·5-fold more than the no-SCFA diets. It furthermore significantly increased the amount of mRNA for PPAR-α, and decreased the mRNA amount for NF-κB in the liver and white adipose tissue. The FO diets enhanced improvement of tissue lipid levels. Thus, FO improved liver TAG and NEFA levels compared with weight loss on the control diet. Combining FO and SCFA further reduced tissue NEFA accumulation. In conclusion, we found that dietary SCFA had a significant impact on gene expression in the liver and adipose tissue, and that the effect of FO on tissue NEFA content was modified by SCFA. Thus, interactions between fatty acids should be considered when studying the effects of specific fatty acids.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
    Issue number10
    Pages (from-to)1449-1456
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright 2011 Cambridge University Press.


    • Tissue NEFA
    • Acetate
    • Weight loss
    • Fish oil
    • SCFA

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