Grasas y Aceites, Vol 63, No 1 (2012)

Evaluation of the hepatic bioconversion of α-linolenic acid (ALA) to eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in rats fed with oils from chia (Salvia hispánica) or rosa mosqueta (Rosa rubiginosa)

R. Valenzuela B.
School of Nutrition Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Chile, Chile

J. G. Gormáz
Molecular and Clinical Pharmacology Program, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Chile, Chile

L. Masson S.
Molecular and Clinical Pharmacology Program, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Chile, Chile

M. Vizcarra
Molecular and Clinical Pharmacology Program, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Chile, Chile

P. Cornejo Z.
Molecular and Clinical Pharmacology Program, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Chile, Chile

A. Valenzuela B.
Lipid Center, Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology (INTA), University of Chile and Faculty of Medicine, University de los Andes, Chile

G. Tapia O.
Molecular and Clinical Pharmacology Program, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Chile, Chile


The high dietary intake of n-6 fatty acids in relation to n-3 fatty acids generates health disorders, such as cardiovascular diseases, inflammatory diseases and other chronic diseases. The consumption of fish, which is rich in n-3 fatty acids, is low in Latin America and it is necessary to seek other alternatives, such as chia oil (CO) or rosa mosqueta oil (RMO), which are rich in α-linolenic acid (ALA), the precursor of the n -3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). This study evaluates the hepatic bioconversion of ALA to EPA and DHA and the damage to the liver (histology and transaminase) in Sprague- Dawley rats fed different vegetable oils. Four experimental groups (n = 9 animals each group) were fed the following dietary supplements for 21 days: a) sunflower oil (SFO), b) RMO, c) CO d) olive oil with fish oil added (EPA and DHA) (OO/FO). RMO and CO increased the hepatic levels of ALA, EPA and DHA and decreased the n-6/n-3 ratio compared to SFO (p < 0.05) without changes in the parameters of liver damage. It is concluded that CO and RMO may be nutritional alternatives for providing ALA for its bioconversion to EPA and DHA.


α-linolenic acid; Chia oil; Docosahexaenoic acid; Eicosapentaenoic acid; Fatty acid bioconversion; Rosa mosqueta oil

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