COMPARATIVE STUDY OF THE EFFECTS OF OMEGA-3 FATTY ACID AND SATURATED FAT ON BLOOD VESSELS (AORTA) USING ALBINO WISTAR RAT MODEL
Inyang Imeobong J., Eyo Aniekan-Augusta O.*, Anyanwu Stanley O. and Amogu Kalu C.
Background: Palm oil, an edible vegetable oil extracted from the mesocarp of fruits of oil palms, primarily the African oil palm Elaeis guineensis is a major ingredient in Nigerian meals. Unrefined palm oil is rich in carotenes, saturated fats and tocotrienols (vitamin E) which have rather protective effects on blood vessels. However, the overall health impacts of palm oil, particularly in relation to cardiovascular disease, are still controversial. This study was designed to assess the effects of omega-3 fatty acid and saturated fats (palm oil) on blood vessels using albino wistar rat model. Methods: Fifteen albino wistar rats with average weight of 187.5g were divided into three groups of five rats each and allowed to acclimatize while being fed with standard laboratory animal chow and water ad libitum for 2 weeks. For the next six weeks, Group I received 80g of feed mixed with omega-3 fatty acid source (cod liver oil). Group II was fed 80g of feed mixed with saturated fatty acid (palm oil) while Group III, the control group, continued with basal diet only. Total body weights were measured daily throughout the six weeks of experiments. Results: Histological results revealed intact lumen in the two test groups similar to that obtained for the control group. Conclusion: Palm oil consumption has beneficial effects on blood vessels as it is low in cholesterol, raises HDL levels and reduces platelet aggregability. However, there is need to obtain a balance of different fatty acids found in other edible oils and food sources.
Keywords: Palm oil, omega-3 fatty acid, blood vessels.
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