Occurrence of bioactive sphingolipids in meat and fish products

Lars Hellgren

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    Recent research has revealed that the degradation products of dietary sphingolipids are biologically highly active and have the capacity to inhibit the development of colon cancer in mice. Nevertheless, the content of sphingolipids in common foodstuff has never been systematically analyzed. Therefore we investigated the contents of sphingomyelin and neutral glycosphingolipids in commonly consumed meat and fish products. Sphingomyelin and glycosphingolipids were found in all foodstuffs studied. The total amount varied between 118 +/- 17 nmol/g (cod) to 589 +/- 39 nmol/g (chicken leg). Generally, lower amounts of sphingolipids were determined in fish meat than in red meat and poultry, while poultry was the richest source of this class of lipids. However, fish meat contained a relatively high content of neutral glycolipids compared with other types of meat. Thus, in fish the ratio sphingomyelin/neutral glycolipids varied from 1 to 2.9, while in poultry this ratio varied between 5.2 to 19.2 and in red meat it varied from 1.6 to 8.3. The fatty acid composition of sphingomyelin in fish was dominated by C24:1 (Delta (9)) or C22:1 (Delta (9)), while C16:0 and C18:0 were the dominating sphingomyelin species in poultry and C18:0 in the meat of mammal origin.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalEuropean Journal of Lipid Science and Technology
    Issue number10
    Pages (from-to)661-667
    Publication statusPublished - 2001


    • Sphingomyelin
    • Glycolipids
    • Sphingolipids
    • Bioactive lipids

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