ALPHA-LINOLENIC ACID Postprandial Lipid Metabolism and Enzymatic Interesterification of Triacylgylcerols
Abstract: An important indicator of the metabolic capacity of humans is the ability to regulate plasma triacylglycerol levels and to clear triacylglycerol-rich lipoproteins (TRLs) from the circulation after a meal. This is crucial since most of the day is spent in the postprandial state. High concentrations and long circulation times of TRL remnants may be detrimental since these are considered to be highly atherogenic. Postprandial effects of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) in men and women are poorly characterized. A new ALA-rich oil was produced from rapeseed and linseed oil by enzymatic interesterification. The postprandial effects of 3 meals containing 35 g of this new ALA-rich oil, olive oil, or butter were compared in two randomized crossover studies (26 men and 19 premenopausal women). Blood samples were drawn at regular intervals up to 7 h after the meals. We hypothesized that the postprandial lipid response might be attenuated by a preferential oxidation of ALA compared to other long chain dietary fatty acids. Premenopausal women showed lower postprandial lipemia and were less sensitive to variations in dietary fat than men. Butter resulted in lower postprandial lipemia than the oils in men, whereas no such difference was seen in the women. The ALA oil and olive oil meals induced similar plasma triacylglycerol concentrations. Women showed significantly lower NEFA responses after the olive oil and butter meals than men. The ALA-rich oil had significant effects on the different plasma lipid fractions and decreased the n-6:n-3 ratio in plasma several hours postprandially. ALA levels remained high in plasma triacylglycerols and NEFA even after 5-7 h. This late high concentration of ALA in NEFA is indicative of spill-over NEFA and/or preferential release of ALA by the adipose tissue into the circulation. In summary we did thus not find evidence that ALA has a beneficial effect on postprandial lipids by a selective partitioning to oxidation. This does not exclude the possibility that ALA over a longer time period may have health effects not only as precursor of longer chain n-3 fatty, primarily docosahexaenoic acid, but also because it is sorted out for oxidation. The enzymatic interesterification of triacylglycerols using immobilized Thermomyces lanuginosus lipase (Lipozyme TL IM) as catalyst has also been investigated. Three different reaction systems were studied: rapeseed oil + butter, rapeseed oil + linseed oil (ALA oil), and trilaurin + 1,3-palmitin-2-olein. The ALA oil (35% ALA) was the same as that used in the meal studies. All reactions were followed by reversed-phase HPLC and the triacylglycerol peaks were tentatively identified by calculating equivalent carbon numbers. The triacylglycerols in the rapeseed oil + butter mixture and products were also identified by HPLC-electrospray tandem mass spectrometry. In ideal sn-1,3-specific lipase-catalyzed interesterification, the fatty acid composition in the sn-2 position remains constant. In practice, however, slight changes are observed in the sn-2 position and, under certain conditions, a completely randomized fatty acid distribution can be obtained. Randomization is slower than interesterification. Uncontrolled hydrolysis should, however, be avoided as it lowers the TAG yield. Different triacylglycerol mixtures, i.e. products originating from 1,3-specific interesterification as well as totally or partially randomized products, can be produced by varying the reaction time. Enzymatic interesterification could be used as a method of designing dietary oils with new properties regarding fatty acid composition, susceptibility to oxidation and effects on blood lipids. The future of enzymatic processes relies on efficient, flexible, and easy-to-use systems that ensure high stability of the enzyme preparation and stable output of high-quality products at a reasonable cost.
This dissertation MIGHT be available in PDF-format. Check this page to see if it is available for download.