Background: Flavonoids such as naringenin and naringin are suggested to affect lipid metabolism by modulating the activity of ∆6 and ∆5 fatty acid desaturases and other key genes and enzymes. Consequently, the biosynthesis of n-3 LC-PUFA from ALA is likely to be modulated in the presence of flavonoids.
Aim: To investigate the effect of naringenin and naringin on n-3 LC-PUFA biosynthesis from ALA in hepatocytes.
Methods: FaO hepatocytes were seeded in 30 small flasks then incubated for 5 days with or without 100 µM ALA (3 flasks each) with no added flavonoids. Other flasks received 100 µM ALA in addition to either naringenin (6 flasks, 50 µg/mL of culture medium) or naringin (6 flasks, 20 µg/mL of culture medium). Also, 6 flasks received naringenin and 6 other flasks received naringin but without adding ALA. Two-way ANOVA tested the differences and interaction between groups.
Results: EPA content was marginally but significantly enhanced in hepatocytes incubated with naringenin and ALA (1.0±0.1µg/mg of cells) and naringin with ALA (0.9±0.1µg/mg of cells). Flavonoids without ALA did not change EPA content in the cells. Also, the flavonoids did not significantly improve DPA or DHA content in the cells regardless of ALA supplementation.
Conclusions: Naringin and naringenin, flavonoids from citrus peel, have a potential in improving n-3 LC-PUFA biosynthesis from ALA in hepatocytes in vitro. Further studies can confirm this effect in vivo and provide an insight into functional foods interaction with fatty acid metabolism.
Funding Source: None.