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Sunflower oil versus olive oil and iron metabolism in rats. Influence of a frying process

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Olive oil and sunflower oil were used in repeated potato-frying operations without turnover until the oils reached the limit of 25% polar compounds allowed by law. Over a 28 day period, five groups of rats were fed diets containing 8% unused olive oil, olive oil used in 48 and 69 potato frying operations, unused sunflower oil and sunflower oil used to fry potatoes 48 times. In the final week, faeces and urine were collected and, on day 28, animals were sacrificed. The type of oil, unused or used in frying, did not modify food intake, body weight, faecal iron and its apparent absorption or retention, but consumption of oils used in frying tended to increase urinary iron excretion. No differences were found in serum iron, total iron-binding capacity and haemoglobin values. Iron contents and concentrations in liver, spleen and skin did not vary between groups. Iron concentrations in erythrocytes were significantly higher in rats fed sunflower oil, either unused or used in frying. It was concluded that the consumption of sunflower oil compared to olive oil could affect intra- and extracellular haematic distribution of iron, probably associated with changes in membrane permeability, and that some alteration products of the oils originated during frying tend to increase urinary iron losses without repercussions on iron metabolism.

© 2000 Society of Chemical Industry
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Keywords: frying; iron; olive oil; rats; sunflower oil

Document Type: Research Article

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Publication date: 01 January 2001

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