Effects of microalgal polyunsaturated fatty acid oil on body weight and lipid accumulation in the liver of C57BL/6 mice fed a high fat diet
- Received Date: 2016-01-23
- Accepted Date: 2016-02-03
- Available Online: 2016-05-27
Abstract: Dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which are abundant in marine fish oils, have recently received global attention for their prominent anti-obesogenic effects. Among PUFAs, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA; 20:5n-3) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; 22:6n-3), which are n-3 long-chain PUFAs widely referred to as omega-3 oils, were reported to prevent the development of obesity in rodents and humans. In the present study, we evaluated the anti-obesity effects of microalgal oil on high-fat induced obese C57BL/6 mice, compared with commercial omega-3 fish oil and vegetable corn oil. Microalgal oil is an inherent mixture of several PUFAs, including EPA, DHA and other fatty acids produced from a marine microalgal strain of Thraustochytriidae sp. derived mutant. It was found to contain more PUFAs (>80%) and more omega-3 oils than commercial omega-3 fish oil (PUFAs >31%) and corn oil (PUFAs 59%). All three types of oils induced weight loss in high-fat-induced obese mice, with the loss induced by microalgal oil being most significant at 9 weeks (10% reduction). However, the oils tested did not improve blood lipid levels, although microalgal oil showed an apparent inhibitory effect on lipid accumulation in the liver. These findings may be attributed to the higher PUFA content, including omega-3 oils of microalgal oil than other oils. Collectively, these findings suggest that microalgal oil, derived from Thraustochytriidae sp. derived mutant, is a prominent candidate for replacement of omega-3 fish oils based on its apparent anti-obesity effect in vivo.