AbstractHamsters fed ethanol were given three different dietary sources of essential fatty acids; safflower oil, evening primrose oil (both mainly n-6 fatty acids) or linseed oil (mainly n-3 fatty acids). After 7 weeks, plasma, erythrocyte and liver lipids and fatty acids were analyzed. Plasma and liver lipids were not significantly different in the ethanol-fed hamsters compared to the controls. Erythrocyte total phospholipid was increased only in the ethanol-fed groups given n-6 but not n-3 fatty acids. Some fatty acid changes induced by ethanol were predictable, e.g. lower 20:4 n-6 in hamsters fed n-6 fatty acids, but others were not predictable, e.g. higher 22:6 n-3 in all the ethanol-fed groups. The effect of ethanol on hamster lipids and fatty acid composition appears dependent on the predominant class of dietary fatty acids.
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