Time‐Dependent Effects of Progressive Gamma ‐Linolenate Feeding on Hyperphagia, Weight Gain, and Erythrocyte Fatty Acid Composition During Growth of Zucker Obese Rats

Debbie C. Thurmond, Anna B. Tang, Manabu T. Nakamura, Judith S. Stern, Stephen D. Phinney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


Obese Zucker rats (fa/fa) have low levels of arachidonic acid (AA) in liver phospholipids (PL). We have previously shown that a 70% gamma‐linolenate concentrate (GLA; an AA intermediate) fed at a fixed dose (0.07 g/day) normalized hepatic PL AA and reduced weight gain selectively in the obese animals. In a follow‐up study, 16 obese (fa/fa) and 16 lean (Fa/Fa) 4‐week‐old male rats were randomized into 4 groups of 8 each and gavaged daily with soybean oil (SOY) containing 55% 18:2ω6 (an AA precursor) or GLA, using a progressive dose (≤ 5% of total calories) based on body weight. A defined diet with 11% of energy as SOY was fed ad libitum for 60 days. GLA obese had lower body weight (p<0.0001) and 60‐day cumulative food intake (p<0.05) compared to SOY obese, but neither parameter differed between the lean groups. For the last twenty days cumulative food intake was identical for GLA obese and SOY lean, whereas SOY obese consumed 18% more (p<0.05). Thus the progressive dose of GLA selectively suppressed hyperphagia in obese Zucker rats. Erythrocytes collected at 15‐day intervals showed parallel increases in AA in both genotypes over time, suggesting normal AA availability during rapid growth. Thus, the reduced PL AA in the livers from the obese rats probably reflects impaired distribution in selected tissues rather than reduced hepatic production. Due to the potential health risks of enriching tissue lipids with AA, great caution is advised in considering GLA as therapy for human obesity. 1993 North American Association for the Study of Obesity (NAASO)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)118-125
Number of pages8
JournalObesity Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1993


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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