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Walnut Consumption Induces Tissue-Specific Omega-6/Omega‑3 Decrease in High-Fructose-Fed Wistar Rats

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journal contribution
posted on 21.10.2020, 14:33 by Manja M. Zec, Irena Krga, Marija Takić, Jasmina Debeljak-Martačić, Goran Korićanac, Slavica Ranković, Tamara Popović, Marija Pantelić, Maria Glibetic
Increased dietary, blood, and tissue n-6/n-3 fatty acid ratios are associated with obesity and metabolic syndrome. Due to Westernized dietary patterns, the increasing n-6/n-3 ratio is of growing concern worldwide, and dietary strategies aimed at its lowering are of public health importance. Walnuts are rich in dietary fats, and their consumption promotes cardiometabolic health. This study aimed to examine the effect of 6-week walnut consumption on tissue-specific n-6/n-3 ratio and fatty acid metabolic conversion in fructose-fed rats with a cluster of metabolic disorders. Male Wistar rats were fed a standard diet with or without 10% fructose in drinking water for 9 weeks. Diets of half of the animals were then supplemented with walnuts (2.4 g/day) for 6 weeks, upon which fatty acid profiles were determined in plasma, liver, adipose tissue, and kidney total lipids. Results showed that walnuts induced significant decreases in the n-6/n-3 content of total lipid pool in plasma and examined tissues, irrespective of metabolic burden. Walnut intervention decreased plasma and liver palmitoleic/palmitic, arachidonic/linoleic, and docosahexaenoic/α-linolenic acid ratios. It also modulated individual fatty acid levels by reducing arachidonic and palmitic acid and increasing α-linolenic, eicosapentaenoic, and docosapentaenoic acid in plasma and most tissues. Our study demonstrated that 6-week consumption of walnuts favorably modulated n-6/n-3 plasma and tissue ratio in male Wistar rats regardless of high-fructose feeding, underscoring the promising potential of walnuts in both prevention and treatment of the metabolic syndrome.