Anupama Tyagi, Uday Kumar, Suryam Reddy, Vadakattu S. Santosh, Saazida B. Mohammed, Nasreen Z. Ehtesham and Ahamed Ibrahim

British Journal of Nutrition (2012), 108, 1612–1622

PMID: 22243775


Increasing prevalence of inflammatory bowel disease may be due to imbalance in the intake of n-6 and n-3 PUFA in the diet. This study investigates the impact of varying ratios of dietary linoleic acid (LA, 18:2n-6) to a-linolenic acid (ALA, 18:3n-3) on the inflammatory response in dextran sulphate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis. Weanling male Sprague–Dawley rats were divided into five groups: a non-coli- tic group with a LA:ALA ratio of 215 (CON-215), and colitic groups with LA:ALA ratios of 215 (DSS-215), 50 (DSS-50), 10 (DSS-10) and 2 (DSS-2). Blends of groundnut, palmolein and linseed oils were used to provide varying LA:ALA ratios. All the rats were fed the respective experimental isoenergetic diets containing 10 % fat for 90 d and DSS was administered during the last 11 d. Colonic inflammation was eval- uated by clinical, biochemical and histological parameters. The results showed attenuation of colitis in the DSS-2 group as evidenced by significant reductions in disease activity index, mucosal myeloperoxidase activity (P,0·05), alkaline phosphatase activity (P,0·01) and increase in colon length (P,0·01) compared to the groups fed with higher ratios (DSS-215). This was accompanied by significant reductions in mucosal proinflammatory cytokines TNF-a (P,0·01) and IL-1b (P,0·01) and improvement in the histological score. Further, ALA supplementation increased long-chain (LC) n-3 PUFA and decreased LC n-6 PUFA in colon structural lipids. These data suggest that substitution of one-third of LA with ALA (LA:ALA ratio 2) mitigates experimental colitis by down-regulating proinflammatory mediators.