Nutrients (2020-10-01)

The Anti-Obesogenic Effect of Lean Fish Species is Influenced by the Fatty Acid Composition in Fish Fillets

  • Even Fjære,
  • Lene Secher Myrmel,
  • Karianne Dybing,
  • Ondrej Kuda,
  • Benjamin Anderschou Holbech Jensen,
  • Martin Rossmeisl,
  • Livar Frøyland,
  • Karsten Kristiansen,
  • Lise Madsen

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 12, no. 3038
p. 3038


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Fillets from marine fish species contain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in the form of phospholipids (PLs). To investigate the importance of PL-bound n-3 PUFAs in mediating the anti-obesogenic effect of lean seafood, we compared the anti-obesogenic properties of fillets from cod with fillets from pangasius, a fresh water fish with a very low content of PL-bound n-3 PUFAs. We prepared high-fat/high-protein diets using chicken, cod and pangasius as the protein sources, and fed male C57BL/6J mice these diets for 12 weeks. Mice fed the diet containing cod gained less adipose tissue mass and had smaller white adipocytes than mice fed the chicken-containing diet, whereas mice fed the pangasius-containing diet were in between mice fed the chicken-containing diet and mice fed the cod-containing diet. Of note, mice fed the pangasius-containing diet exhibited reduced glucose tolerance compared to mice fed the cod-containing diet. Although the sum of marine n-3 PUFAs comprised less than 2% of the total fatty acids in the cod-containing diet, this was sufficient to significantly increase the levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acids (DHA) in mouse tissues and enhance production of n-3 PUFA-derived lipid mediators as compared with mice fed pangasius or chicken.