AbstractEssential fatty acids were estimated in plasma, red blood cells and liver total phospholipids in rats, mice, hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits and humans. There were large species differences, suggesting that different species levels should be borne in mind when choosing an animal for a particular study. The 2 species most susceptible to atheroma, the guinea pig and the rabbit, had very high levels of linoleic acid and low levels of linoleic acid metabolites. n-3 fatty acid levels were low in guinea pigs and rabbits and the ratio of n-3 to n-6 fatty acids also was low in the rat. Mice and hamsters had the highest n-3 levels, suggesting they may be the best species to use for studies on the roles of n- 3 essential fatty acids. Mice and hamsters and, in some respect rats, were closest to humans in their fatty acid patterns.
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