Safety assessment of SDA soybean oil: Results of a 28-day gavage study and a 90-day/one generation reproduction feeding study in rats

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Abstract

Long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs) in the diet reduce risk of cardiac mortality. Fish oils are a dietary source of LC-PUFAs (EPA, DHA) but intake is low in Western diets. Adding beneficial amounts of LC-PUFAs to foods is limited by their instability and potential to impart off-flavors. Stearidonic acid (SDA), a precursor of EPA in man, is more stable than EPA/DHA in food matrices. SDA is present in fish oils (0.5–4%) and in nutraceuticals (echium, borage oil). Genes for Δ6, Δ15 desaturases were introduced into soybeans that convert linoleic and α-linolenic acid to SDA (15–30% fatty acids). Since addition of SDA soybean oil into human foods increases SDA intake, toxicology studies were undertaken to assess its safety. In a 28-day pilot study, rats were gavaged with SDA soybean oil at dosages up to 3 g/kg body weight/day; no treatment-related adverse effects were observed. A 90-day/one generation rat reproduction study was subsequently conducted where SDA soybean oil was added to diets to provide daily doses of 1.5 and 4 g/kg body weight. There were no treatment-related adverse effects on parental animals or on reproductive performance and progeny development.

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