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Cereal Chem 69:623-625   |  VIEW ARTICLE

Lipidemic Response in Rats Fed Flaxseed or Sunflower Oils.

G. S. Ranhotra, J. A. Gelroth, and B. K. Glaser. Copyright 1992 by the American Association of Cereal Chemists, Inc. 

Flaxseed oil, a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, and sunflower oil (SO), a rich source of omega-6 fatty acids, and their blends were evaluated for their hypolipidemic effects as compared to that of a hard fat. Hypercholesterolemic rats were used as the test model. Hypercholesterolemia was induced through dietary means. Serum total cholesterol (CH) levels were highly elevated throughout the six-week study period in rats fed hard fat. In comparison to those in rats fed hard fat, CH levels averaged only 18-26% (week 2), 19- 28% (week 4), and 21-40% (week 6) in rats fed oil-based diets. Within these ranges, flaxseed oil, but more significantly its blends with SO, showed a more noticeable serum CH-lowering effect than did SO. All oil- based diets also showed lower serum triglyceride levels than did the diet formulated with hard fat. Although liver CH levels from oil-based diets were also significantly lower than those from the hard fat diet, liver lipid levels were lower only for diets that contained significant levels of SO. Viewed collectively, the results suggest that a diet with a proper balance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids may be more desirable than a diet skewed heavily toward omega-6 fatty acids.

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