OBJECTIVE: To determine effects of dietary n-3 fatty acids from Menhaden fish oil on plasma alpha-tocopherol concentrations in Beagles.
ANIMALS: 32 female Beagles.
PROCEDURE: For 82 days, dogs were fed diets that contained 1 of 2 ratios of n-6:n-3 fatty acids (40:1 [low n-3] and 1.4:1 [high n-3]) and 1 of 3 concentrations of all-rac-alpha-tocopheryl acetate (low, 17 mg/kg of diet; medium, 101 mg/kg; and high, 447 mg/kg) in a 2 X 3 factorial study.
RESULTS: Diets high in n-3 fatty acids significantly increased total content of n-3 fatty acids in plasma (17.0 g/100 g of fatty acids), compared with low n-3 diets (2.02 g/100 g of fatty acids). Mean +/- SEM plasma concentration of cholesterol was significantly lower in dogs consuming high n-3 diets (4.59 +/- 0.48 mmol/L), compared with dogs consuming low n-3 diets (5.71 +/- 0.48 mmol/L). A significant interaction existed between the ratio for n-6 and n-3 fatty acids and amount of alpha-tocopheryl acetate in the diet (plasma alpha-tocopherol concentration expressed on a molar basis), because the plasma concentration of alpha-toco-pherol was higher in dogs consuming low n-3 diets, compared with those consuming high n-3 diets, at the 2 higher amounts of dietary alpha-tocopheryl acetate. Plasma alpha-tocopherol concentration expressed relative to total lipid content did not reveal effects of dietary n-3 fatty acids on concentration of alpha-tocopherol.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Plasma alpha-tocopherol concentration is not dependent on dietary ratio of n-6 and n-3 fatty acids when alpha-tocopherol concentration is expressed relative to the total lipid content of plasma.