Animal Science Department


Date of this Version

January 1982


Published in JOURNAL OF ANIMAL SCIENCE, Vol. 55, No. 1, 1982. Copyright American Society of Animal Science. Used by permission.


Thirty-two pigs were used to compare the oxidation rates of uniformly labeled (U-14C) palmitic (16:0), stearic (18:0), oleic (18:1) and linoleic (18:2) acids in fasting neonatal pigs. The pigs were allowed to nurse the sow for 24 to 48 h following birth. Subsequently, they were removed, an indwelling catheter was surgically placed in the external iliac vein and the pigs were fasted for 12 h to attain a postabsorptive state. The 14C fatty acids were administered as a single infusion (10 / μCi) via the catheter, and recovery of the label as expired 14CO2 was determined at 45-min intervals for a 6-h period. Blood samples were taken following the infusion (15, 60, 120, 240, 360 min) to monitor activity maintained within the free fatty acid (FFA) fraction of the plasma pool. The oxidation rate of each fatty acid was corrected for the difference in dose dilution using a uniform factor based on plasma concentration of 18:1. The cumulative 6-h 14CO2 recovery rates (percentage of dose) were 19.1, 6.6, 30.1 and 13.1% for 16:0, 18:0, 18:1 and 18:2, respectively. Oleic acid was oxidized at a more (P<.05) rapid rate than the other fatty acids. Palmitic acid and 18:2 were oxidized more rapidly than 18:0, although the difference between 18:0 and 18:2 was not significant. Plasma FFA pools differed with respect to the proportion of infused activity remaining at various times after administration. At 60 and 120 min postinfusion, the greatest (P<.05) proportion of activity was maintained in the 18:1 pool (11.9 and 6.6%, respectively, vs 7.7 and 4.3% for 16:0, 6.9 and 3.9% for 18:2 and 3.6 and 2.2% for 18:0). Palmitic acid and 18:2 had a greater (P<.05) level of activity in the plasma FFA pool at 60 min than did 18:0. This same pattern was observed through 2 h, but by 240 min postinfusion, the proportion of activity remaining in each of the plasma pools was similar. Rate of oxidation appeared to correspond with plasma concentration and proportion of activity remaining in the plasma FFA pool.