Changes in Serum Lipids and Platelet Fatty Acid Composition Following Consumption of Eggs Enriched in Alpha-Linolenic Acid.

January 1, 1992 Human Health and Nutrition Data 0 Comments

Changes in Serum Lipids and Platelet Fatty Acid Composition Following Consumption of Eggs Enriched in Alpha-Linolenic Acid.

Year: 1992
Authors: L K Ferrier, L Caston, S Lesson, E J Squires, B Celi, L Thomas, B J Holub.
Publication Name: Food Res. Inter.
Publication Details: Volume 25; Page 263.


Dietary n-3 PUFA consumption is associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. The effects of n-3 PUFA appear to be due to their ability to lower serum lipid levels and alter the production of inflammatory and aggregatory eicosanoids. The typical Western style diet is often deficient in sources of n-3 FAs which are commonly found in fatty fish and fish oils. Recommendations for increasing dietary n-3 intakes are currently difficult to meet in the Western style diet. ALA from flaxseed can serve as a precursor for EPA and DHA and also has serum lipid lowering effects which are independent of its conversion to these longer chain PUFAs. Thus, efforts have been directed toward increasing the levels of n-3 PUFAs in animal products through the feeding of rations rich in flaxseed. In this study, the effects of the consumption of eggs from hens fed diets containing flaxseed on plasma and platelet lipids of male volunteers were assessed. Eggs were produced by the inclusion of 20% ground flaxseed in the diets of laying hens. The ALA-enriched eggs had a LA:ALA ratio of 1.7:1 in comparison to a ratio of 37:1 in control eggs. Five normocholesterolemic male volunteers consumed 4 control eggs during weeks 3 and 4 of the study and 4 ALA-enriched eggs during weeks 7 and 8. Weeks 1, 2, 5 and 6 of the study were designed as washout periods. The corresponding DHA intakes for the control and ALA-enriched eggs were 27 mg and 94 mg, respectively. The eggs were added to the typical diets of the subjects who were also advised to consume little canola oil, fish or fish oil, flaxseed or flaxseed oil or regular eggs. The results showed that the consumption of ALA-enriched eggs for 1 or 2 weeks resulted in a significant 35% reduction in serum TG levels. No changes were noted in TC or HDL-C. A significant elevation of approximately about 60% in platelet PL levels of DHA was reported in subjects consuming the ALA-enriched eggs. These increases were most likely due to the increased contribution of dietary ALA and DHA from the modified eggs. The authors concluded that their findings may have potential health benefits since serum TGs are recognized as a predicator of CHD. In addition, DHA is physiologically essential in the brain and retina and also shows anti-platelet aggregator properties. Further, eggs modified by the inclusion of flaxseed in the laying hens’ diet could provide an important nutritional source of n-3 PUFAs. The consumption of such eggs could significantly increase the availability of ALA and DHA in the typical Western style diet.

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