Objective: Effects of monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fatty acid consumption on regulating body fat accumulation and body weight gain are controversial between animal and human studies. Methods: We designed a 2 × 2 factorial study, with two levels of MUFAs (60% and 30%) and two levels of polyunsaturated-to-saturated fatty acid (P/S) ratio (5 and 3) to prepare four kinds of experimental oils consisting of 60% MUFAs with a high or low P/S ratio (HMHR or HMLR, respectively) or 30% MUFAs with a high or low P/S ratio (LMHR or LMLR, respectively). Thirty-two male golden Syrian hamsters were randomly divided into four groups and fed the experimental diets containing 15% (w/w) fat for 12 wk. Results: No difference was observed in the mean daily food intake. Hamsters fed the LMLR diet had increased weight gain, epididymal and retroperitoneal white adipose tissues, plasma non-esterified fatty acids, insulin, hepatic acetyl coenzyme A carboxylase and malic enzyme activities, and mRNA expressions of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α and sterol regulatory element-binding protein-1c among all groups (P <0.05). Hamsters fed the HMHR diet had lower plasma insulin levels and hepatic acetyl coenzyme A carboxylase activities among groups (P <0.05) and elevated hepatic acyl coenzyme A oxidase and carnitine palmitoyltransferase-I activities compared with those fed the LMLR diet (P <0.05). Conclusion: Hamsters fed the LMLR diet had increased weight gain and body fat accumulation, whereas the HMHR diet appeared to be beneficial in preventing white adipose tissue accumulation by decreasing plasma insulin levels and increasing hepatic lipolytic enzyme activities involved in β-oxidation.
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