Objective - To examine effects of dietary protein quality (casein [CA] vs corn gluten [CG]) and dietary lipids (corn oil [CO] vs oil blend [OB] rich in long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids [LCPUFAs]) on fatty acid composition in liver and adipose tissue after weight loss in overweight cats. Animals - 24 ovariohysterectomized adult cats. Procedure - Cats were allowed ad libitum access to a high-quality diet until they weighed 30% more than their ideal body weight. Cats were then randomly assigned to 1 of 4 weight-reduction diets (6 cats/diet) and were fed 25% of maintenance energy requirements per day. Diets consisted of CG-CO, CA-CO, CG-OB, and CA-OB, respectively, and were fed until cats lost weight and returned to their original lean body mass. Liver biopsy specimens and samples of perirenal, subcutaneous, and abdominal fat were obtained and analyzed for fatty acid content. Results - Following weight loss, fatty acid composition of the liver and adipose tissue was primarily affected by protein quality in that cats fed CA had significantly higher percentages of 20:4(n-6) and 22:6(n-3) fatty acids than those fed CG. Cats fed the CG-CO diet had the lowest concentrations of LCPUFAs, suggesting that dietary lipids and protein quality each influence fatty acid composition in tissues. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance - These data provide direct evidence that dietary protein quality alters fatty acid composition of tissues during weight loss in cats. The fatty acid patterns observed suggest that protein quality may alter fatty acid composition through modulation of desaturase activity.
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