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SN-2 palmitic acid is only a partial explanation for fat absorption levels in rats fed infant formula fat blends

SN-2 palmitic acid is only a partial explanation for fat absorption levels in rats fed infant formula fat blends

FASEB Journal 15(4): A643

Absorption of total fat and saturated fatty acids (SFA) is dependent on the triglyceride (TG) SFA positional distribution. Absorption of TGs containing high levels of palmitic acid (PA) may be more efficient if PA is present in the sn-2 position, due to intestinal production of 2-monopalmitin. Betapol and butterfat have relatively high sn-2 PA levels and would be expected to have relatively efficient absorption levels. Methods: Male rats were fed a fat-free diet prior to the study. Rats received test diets (control-C, Betapol blend-B or butterfat blend-BF; all fat blends contained equivalent amounts of SFA) for three days followed by fat-free diet for three days. The C fat blend was a typical infant formula blend containing soy, high oleic safflower, coconut and palm oils. Food consumption was measured and feces were collected during the six day study period. Total fat and SFA absorption were measured. Fatty acid positional distribution and fatty acid configuration of TGs were determined. Results: The sn-2 PA levels in the fat blends were similar in the B and BF groups (48.0%, 47.5% respectively) and much higher than the C group (15.2%). Surprisingly, PA excretion was similar for C (12.8 +- 1.2%, mean +- SEM) and BF (10.4 +- 0.9%) groups and significantly higher than the B group (3.5 +- 0.4%). Total fat excretion followed a similar pattern. TG structure analysis of the fat blends indicated that the BF diet had a higher proportion of TGs with tri-SFAs than the B group. Conclusions: Both positional distribution and triglyceride structure are important determinants in fat absorption in infant formula fat blends.

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