Publication: Lipoprotein Profile in Aged Rats Fed Chia Oil- or Hydroxytyrosol-Enriched Pork in High Cholesterol/High Saturated Fat Diets
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Restructuring pork (RP) by adding new functional ingredients, like Chia oil (one of the richest natural source of α-linolenic acid) or hydroxytyrosol (HxT) (potent antioxidant), both with hypolipidemic activities, is one of the strategies that may help to reduce the potential negative effects of high meat products consumption. The aim of this study was to evaluate the Chia oil- or HxT-enriched RP effect on the lipoprotein profile of aged rats fed high fat, high-energy, and cholesterol-enriched diets. RP samples were prepared by mixing lean pork and lard with or without Chia oil (152.2 g/kg fresh matter) or HxT (3.6 g/kg fresh matter). Diets were prepared by mixing a semisynthetic diet with freeze-dried RP. Groups of 1-year male Wistar rats were fed the following experimental diets for 8 weeks: C, control-RP diet; HC, cholesterol-enriched-RP diet; and Chia oil-RP (CHIA) and HxT, Chia oil- or hydroxytyrosol-RP, cholesterol-enriched diet. Plasma lipid, lipoprotein profile, SREBP-1c protein, and low-density lipoproteins (LDL) receptor gene (Ldlr) exp essions were evaluated. Compared to C diet, the HC diet increased plasma cholesterol, triglycerides, free fatty acids, total lipids, and SREBP-1c expression, but reduced Ldlr expression and significantly modified the lipoprotein profile, giving rise to the presence of high levels of atherogenic cholesterol enriched very low-density lipoproteins (VLDL) particles. Compared to the HC diet, the HxT diet did not produce significant changes in feed intake but it reduced the body weight. Chia oil and HxT partially arrested the negative effects of the high-fat, high-energy, and cholesterol enriched meat-based diets on lipemia and lipoproteinemia, mostly by reducing the amount of cholesterol content in VLDL (60% and 74% less in CHIA and HxT vs. HC, respectively) and the VLDL total mass (59% and 63% less in CHIA and HxT vs. HC, respectively). Free fatty acids (FFA) significantly correlated with adipose tissue weight and VLDL total mass (both p < 0.05), and plasma triglycerides, phospholipids, total lipids, and SREBP-1c (all p < 0.001), suggesting the important role of FFA in lipoprotein metabolism. Results support the recommendation to include these ingredients in pork products addressed to reduce the presence of increased atherogenic particles in aged people at CVD risk consuming large amounts of pork.