Diets rich in lean beef increase arachidonic acid and long-chain ω3 polyunsaturated fatty acid levels in plasma phospholipids Academic Article uri icon


  • Diets rich in meat are claimed to contribute to the high tissue arachidonic acid (20:4 omega 6) content in people in Westernized societies, but there are very few direct data to substantiate this assertion. Because meat contains a variety of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) that are susceptible to oxidation, we initially examined the effect of cooking on the long-chain PUFA content of beef, and then determined the effect of ingestion of lean beef on the concentration of long-chain PUFA in plasma phospholipids (PL). First, we examined the effect of grilling (5-15 min) and frying (10 min) different cuts of fat-trimmed lean beef on the long-chain PUFA content. Second, we investigated the effect of including 500 g lean beef daily (raw weight) for 4 wk on the fatty acid content and composition of plasma PL in 33 healthy volunteers. This study was part of a larger trial investigating the effect of lean beef on plasma cholesterol levels. In the first two weeks, the subjects ate a very low-fat diet (10% energy) followed by an increase in the dietary fat by 10% each week for the next 2 wk. The added fat consisted of beef fat, or olive oil (as the oil or a margarine) or safflower oil (as the oil or a margarine). This quantity of beef provided 60, 230, 125, 140 and 20 mg/d, respectively, of eicosatrienoic acid (20:3 omega 6), 20:4 omega 6, eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5 omega 3), docosapentaenoic acid (22:5 omega 3) and docosahexaenoic acid (22:6 omega 3).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)


  • Sinclair, Andrew J
  • Johnson, Leeann
  • O'Dea, Kerin
  • Holman, Ralph T

publication date

  • May 1994

published in