Effect of Docosahexaenoic Acid Encapsulation with Whey Proteins on Rat Growth and Tissue Endocannabinoid Profile

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Nutrients. 2023 Oct 31;15(21):4622. doi: 10.3390/nu15214622.


Modifying the food structure allows a nutrient to be delivered differently, which can modify not only its digestion process but also its subsequent metabolism. In this study, rats received 3 g of omelette daily containing docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) as crude oil or previously encapsulated with whey proteins, whereas a control group received a DHA-free omelette. The results showed that DHA encapsulation markedly induced a different feeding behaviour so animals ate more and grew faster. Then, after four weeks, endocannabinoids and other N-acyl ethanolamides were quantified in plasma, brain, and heart. DHA supplementation strongly reduced endocannabinoid derivatives from omega-6 fatty acids. However, DHA encapsulation had no particular effect, other than a great increase in the content of DHA-derived docosahexaenoyl ethanolamide in the heart. While DHA supplementation has indeed shown an effect on cannabinoid profiles, its physiological effect appears to be mediated more through more efficient digestion of DHA oil droplets in the case of DHA encapsulation. Thus, the greater release of DHA and other dietary cannabinoids present may have activated the cannabinoid system differently, possibly more locally along the gastrointestinal tract. However, further studies are needed to evaluate the synergy between DHA encapsulation, fasting, hormones regulating food intake, and animal growth.

PMID:37960275 | DOI:10.3390/nu15214622

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