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Effects of increases in dietary fat intake on plasma lipid and lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations and associated enzyme activities in cats

Richard F. Butterwick PhD1, Carina Salt MMath2, and Tim D. G. Watson BVM&S, PhD3
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  • 1 WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire LE14 4RT, England
  • | 2 WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire LE14 4RT, England
  • | 3 Department of Pathological Biochemistry, Royal Infirmary, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G4 0SF, Scotland.

Abstract

Objective—To determine the effects of increases in dietary intake of polyunsaturated and saturated fatty acids on plasma lipid and lipoprotein concentrations and activity of associated enzymes in healthy domestic cats.

Animals—16 healthy adult sexually intact female cats.

Procedures—A baseline diet (40% energy from fat) and 4 test diets, with increased amounts of fat (51% and 66% energy from fat) from the addition of polyunsaturated and saturated fatty acids, were fed for 6 weeks each. Plasma cholesterol, triglyceride, and lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations, along with activities of lipoprotein lipase, hepatic lipase, and lecithin-cholesterol acyl transferase, were measured at the end of each feeding period.

Results—Diet, amount of fat, or ratio of polyunsaturated to saturated fatty acids had no effect on plasma concentrations of cholesterol, triglycerides, and very–low-density or high-density lipoproteins or the activity of lecithin-cholesterol acyl transferase. Low-density lipoprotein concentrations were significantly lower in cats fed a high-fat diet containing polyunsaturated fatty acids. Lipoprotein concentration and hepatic lipase activity were significantly higher in cats fed the fat-supplemented diets, and this was unrelated to whether diets were enriched with polyunsaturated or saturated fatty acids.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Diets containing up to 66% of energy from fat were tolerated well by healthy cats and did not affect plasma lipid concentrations. Therefore, high-fat diets probably will not contribute to hypercholesterolemia or hypertriglyceridemia incats.

Abstract

Objective—To determine the effects of increases in dietary intake of polyunsaturated and saturated fatty acids on plasma lipid and lipoprotein concentrations and activity of associated enzymes in healthy domestic cats.

Animals—16 healthy adult sexually intact female cats.

Procedures—A baseline diet (40% energy from fat) and 4 test diets, with increased amounts of fat (51% and 66% energy from fat) from the addition of polyunsaturated and saturated fatty acids, were fed for 6 weeks each. Plasma cholesterol, triglyceride, and lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations, along with activities of lipoprotein lipase, hepatic lipase, and lecithin-cholesterol acyl transferase, were measured at the end of each feeding period.

Results—Diet, amount of fat, or ratio of polyunsaturated to saturated fatty acids had no effect on plasma concentrations of cholesterol, triglycerides, and very–low-density or high-density lipoproteins or the activity of lecithin-cholesterol acyl transferase. Low-density lipoprotein concentrations were significantly lower in cats fed a high-fat diet containing polyunsaturated fatty acids. Lipoprotein concentration and hepatic lipase activity were significantly higher in cats fed the fat-supplemented diets, and this was unrelated to whether diets were enriched with polyunsaturated or saturated fatty acids.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Diets containing up to 66% of energy from fat were tolerated well by healthy cats and did not affect plasma lipid concentrations. Therefore, high-fat diets probably will not contribute to hypercholesterolemia or hypertriglyceridemia incats.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Watson's present address is The Equine Veterinary Clinic, Turningshaw Farm, Houston, Renfrewshire PA6 7BP, Scotland.

Supported by a grant from the WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition and by a Wellcome Trust Veterinary Fellowship.

The authors thank Michael McConnell for technical assistance.

Address correspondence to Dr. Watson (tim.watson@mail.com).