Susceptibility to hepatic oxidative stress in rabbits fed different animal and plant fats.

Rabih M. Slim, Michal Toborek, Bruce A. Watkins, Gilbert A. Boissonneault, Bernhard Hennig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


This study was designed to determine the effect of diets enriched with plant and animal fats on oxidative stress and glutathione metabolism in rabbit liver tissues. This study was conducted to investigate whether the type of dietary fat will impact fatty acid composition and oxidant/antioxidant status in tissues. Rabbits were fed diets containing 2 g corn oil/100 g diet (low fat diet, LF) and LF supplemented with 16 g/100 g diet of either corn oil (CO), CO with added cholesterol (CO + C), milk fat (MF), chicken fat (CF), beef tallow (BT), or lard (L) for 30 days. After the feeding period, livers were analyzed for total fatty acid composition, thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), conjugated dienes, and reduced glutathione (GSH), as well as for activities of glutathione peroxidase (GP) and glutathione reductase (GR). Moreover, to fully determine the oxidative stability and free radical trapping capacity, TBARS levels were measured after additional exposure of liver homogenates to 10 mM 2,2(1)-azo-bis-amidinopropane- hydrochloride (AAPH) for up to 21 hours. CO and CF, but not saturated fats such as MF, increased liver conjugated diene and TBARS levels and decreased liver GSH levels and GP activity. In tissues additionally exposed to AAPH, the maximum oxidation, measured as TBARS, was reached between 6 and 7 hours of treatment, independent of dietary fat. In addition, there was a marked effect of AAPH on the maximum rate of TBARS formation with the following descending order: CO > CF > CO + C > L > MF > BT > LF. This high susceptibility to oxidative stress in liver tissues of rabbits fed the CO diet may be explained in part by the significant elevation in linoleic acid (18:2n-6). There appears to be an inverse correlation between dietary fat-mediated oxidative stress and antioxidant enzyme activities. The present data suggest that high levels of dietary unsaturated fat should be avoided if oxidative stress is a critical issue in nutrition-related diseases. In addition, these data support our hypothesis that diets rich in MF provide a lipid environment with low susceptibility to oxidative stress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-294
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American College of Nutrition
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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