For fats, longer may not be better

Jan 08, 2009

Researchers have uncovered why some dietary fats, specifically long-chain fats, such as oleic acid (found in olive oil), are more prone to induce inflammation. Long-chain fats, it turns out, promote increased intestinal absorption of pro-inflammatory bacterial molecules called lipopolysaccharides (LPS). This study appears in the January issue of JLR.

While dietary fats that have short chains (such as those found in milk and cheese products) can be absorbed directly into the bloodstream from the intestines, long-chain fats need to be first packaged by the intestinal cells into particles known as chylomicrons (large complexes similar to HDL and LDL particles). Erik Eckhardt and colleagues at the University of Kentucky wondered whether some unwanted LPS particles, routinely shed by the bacteria that inhabit the human gut, might also be sneaking in the chylomicrons.

Their hypothesis turned out to be correct; when they treated cultured human intestinal cells with oleic acid they observed significant secretion of LPS together with the chylomicron particles, a phenomenon that was not observed when the cells were treated with short-chain butyric acid. Similar findings were found in mouse studies; high amounts of dietary oleic acid, but not butyric acid, promoted significant absorption of LPS into the blood and lymph nodes and subsequent expression of inflammatory genes.

Eckhardt and colleagues believe these findings may pave the way for future therapies for Crohn's disease and other inflammatory bowel disorders. In addition, they note that this study once again highlights the importance of the diverse bacteria that call our intestines home.

Paper: "Chylomicrons promote intestinal absorption of lipopolysaccharides" by Sarbani Ghoshal, Jassir Witta, Jian Zhong, Willem de Villiers and Erik Eckhardt, www.jlr.org/cgi/content/full/50/1/90

Source: American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Explore further: Student seeks to improve pneumonia vaccines

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Dolphins and whales experience pleasure

6 hours ago

Sam Ridgway has spent most of his life learning about dolphins and whales. Over his five-decade career he has asked these cetaceans various questions, including how deep they can dive and how depth affects ...

Minke whales lunge 100 times per hour to feed under sea ice

6 hours ago

Highly manoeuvrable and built like torpedoes, minke whales are the most common whales in Antarctic waters, yet the animals could be living on a knife edge as their sea-ice homes dwindle rapidly. 'Sea ice in the area around ...

Cisco to cut 6,000 jobs in streamlining

6 hours ago

US computer networking giant Cisco Systems said Wednesday it plans to slash some 6,000 jobs, or eight percent of its global workforce in the coming year.

Report: NSA eyed preset strikes in cyberattacks

7 hours ago

The National Security Agency secretly planned a cyberwarfare program that could automatically fire back at cyberattacks from foreign countries without any human involvement, creating the risk of accidentally ...

Recommended for you

Student seeks to improve pneumonia vaccines

1 hour ago

Almost a million Americans fall ill with pneumonia each year. Nearly half of these cases require hospitalization, and 5-7 percent are fatal. Current vaccines provide protection against some strains of the ...

Seabed solution for cold sores

3 hours ago

The blue blood of abalone, a seabed delicacy could be used to combat common cold sores and related herpes virus following breakthrough research at the University of Sydney.

Better living through mitochondrial derived vesicles

23 hours ago

(Medical Xpress)—As principal transformers of bacteria, organelles, synapses, and cells, vesicles might be said to be the stuff of life. One need look no further than the rapid rise to prominence of The ...

Zebrafish help to unravel Alzheimer's disease

Aug 19, 2014

New fundamental knowledge about the regulation of stem cells in the nerve tissue of zebrafish embryos results in surprising insights into neurodegenerative disease processes in the human brain. A new study by scientists at ...

Engineering new bone growth

Aug 19, 2014

MIT chemical engineers have devised a new implantable tissue scaffold coated with bone growth factors that are released slowly over a few weeks. When applied to bone injuries or defects, this coated scaffold ...

User comments : 0