AbstractThe effects of magnesium deficiency on tissue levels of total lipids and fatty acids were evaluated. Sprague-Dawley rats were fed a magnesium-deficient diet for 14 wk with controls being pair-fed to the deficient rats. Compared to the controls, serum and 24-h urinary magnesium levels were markedly lower in the magnesium-deficient rats. Serum cholesterol and total phospholipids were significantly higher in the magnesium-deficient rats than in the controls. Edema and polycystic degeneration of the kidneys were present in the magnesium- deficient rats. Kidney total phospholipids and triacylglycerols were significantly lower in the magnesium-deficient rats than in the controls. The main change in tissue fatty acid composition in magnesium deficiency was the higher docosahexaenoic acid (22:6n-3) in serum, liver and aorta than in controls. The possible relationship of these findings to human alcoholism is discussed.
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