AbstractThis study addressed the possibility that zinc deficiency has different effects on the fatty acid composition of triglyceride compared to total phospholipid. Male weanling Sprague-Dawley rats were maintained for 6 weeks on a semisynthetic diet deficient in zinc (3 mg/kg zinc). Control rats (40 mg/kg zinc) were pair-fed. Lipid fractionation and fatty acid analysis were by thin-layer and gas chromatography, respectively. In zinc-deficient rats, the percentage of linoleic acid was increased or that of arachidonic acid was decreased in total phospholipids of plasma, liver, and testis, and in skin total lipids. Saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids were increased in the triglyceride of liver but decreased in the triglyceride of epididymal fat of zinc deficient rats. Essential fatty acids, as a proportion of total fatty acids, were decreased in triglyceride of liver but increased in triglyceride of epididymal fat of zinc-deficient rats. Our fatty acid data from tissue total phospholipids therefore support the concept that linoleic acid desaturation is impaired in zinc deficiency.
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