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Little is known about the effects of the dietary intake of red palm oil (RPO) on fatty acid composition in the liver of rats. Male Wistar rats randomly divided into four groups were fed with different doses of red palm oil. The control group received no red palm oil; while the experimental groups were fed with 1 ml, 2 ml and 4 ml of red palm oil daily for seven weeks. In the liver of all the groups, palmitic acid (C16:0) followed by stearic acid (C18:0) were predominantly present among the saturated fatty acids. Oleic acid (C18:1c) and linoleic acid (C18:2) were largely present among the unsaturated fatty acids. There was no significant (P<0.05) increase in the levels of palmitic acid (C16:0) in all the groups while oleic acid (C18:1) significantly increased at 4 ml RPO when compared with the control (p<0.05). The total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides (TG) and very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL)-cholesterol levels were not significantly different in all the groups (P<0.05) when compared with the control group. Generally, there were no significant effects of RPO on levels of serum cholesterol, and triglycerides as well as accumulation of saturated fatty acids in the liver of the experimental rats.
Keywords: Lipid profiles, fatty acid, red palm oil, rats