One group of dogs fed a highly-oxidized lipid diet and another group fed one with a moderate level of this fat type, both had reduced growth, bone formation and immune function, said John Turek, Purdue professor of basic sciences. This was the first study in dogs to assess the effects of oxidized lipids on growth, antioxidant status, bone development and immune function.
"We know that eating diets high in oxidized fat contributes to atherosclerosis and other diseases in people," said Turek, a School of Veterinary Medicine cellular biologist. "But we don't know the long-term effects of foods high in oxidized lipids fed during the growth stage. Will organ and tissue growth be compromised? Will children develop geriatric diseases at an earlier point in their lives?"
Turek, along with Department of Food Science professor Bruce Watkins and their colleagues, report the research in the January issue of The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry
Results showing that dogs on a moderate oxidized fat diet also exhibited some of the same effects as those eating meals containing high oxidized lipids were unexpected, Turek said. This finding has major significance for studies on overall health in both people and animals.
Watkins, of the School of Agriculture, said fats, oils and processed foods without added antioxidants can contain oxidized lipids. In addition, frying food adds more of this type of fat.
"Increasingly restaurants prepare convenience foods by frying, and more meals are eaten out at fast-food establishments," said Watkins, a nutritional biochemist. "Consequently, the level of oxidized fat in Americans' diets has escalated alarmingly in recen
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