Free Access
Reprod. Nutr. Dev.
Volume 44, Number 4, July-August 2004
Page(s) 371 - 380
Reprod. Nutr. Dev. 44 (2004) 371-380
DOI: 10.1051/rnd:2004042

Dose-effect of dietary oleic acid: oleic acid is conditionally essential for some organs

Jean-Marie Bourrea, Odile Dumonta and Georges Durandb

a  INSERM U 26, Unité de neuro-pharmaco-nutrition, Hôpital Fernand Widal, 200 rue du Fg St. Denis, 75475 Paris Cedex 10, France
b  INRA-LNSA, 78350, Jouy-en-Josas, France

(Received 16 November 2003; accepted 30 April 2004)

Abstract - The minimum dietary intake of oleic acid that is indispensable to maintain a normal content of this fatty acid in several tissues (heart, muscle, kidney and testis) was determined in the rat. For this purpose, a dose-effect study was conducted using an experimental protocol with 7 groups of rats who received a diet in which the oleic acid level varied from 0 to 6000 mg per 100 g diet, but the other ingredients were identical (in particular the essential fatty acids, linoleic and $\alpha$-linolenic acid). Female rats were fed the diets from two weeks before mating, and their pups were killed aged either 21 or 60 days. When the level of oleic acid in the diet was increased, the main modifications observed in 21-day-old deficient pups were as follows: (i) for 18:1n-9, in the liver, muscle, heart, kidney, and testis, a plateau was reached at about 4 g oleic acid per 100 g diet. Below this level, the higher the dose the greater the response; (ii) for 16:1n-7, the concentration decreased in the liver, muscle, heart, kidney and testis; (iii) the concentration of 18:1n-7 decreased in the kidney, muscle, and testis; (iv) some minor modifications were noted for the other fatty acids. In mother's milk at 14 days of lactation, when dietary oleic acid increased, the levels of 18:1(n-9) also increased; the increase was regular and did not reach a plateau. In 60-day-old rats, the results were generally similar to those in 21-day-old rats, but with some differences, in particular a slight decrease in oleic acid concentration in the liver and kidney at the highest dietary oleic acid level.

Key words: oleic acid / liver / kidney / heart / muscle / testis / diet

Corresponding author: Jean-Marie Bourre

© INRA, EDP Sciences 2004