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Effects of storage time and added antioxidant on fatty acid composition of red blood cells at −20°C

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The stability of PUFA in venous red blood cells (RBC) of women aged 25 to 55 years (n=12) was investigated during storage at −20°C. The RBC sample from each participant was divided into seven portions: one baseline with the antioxidant BHT, another without BHT, samples without BHT stored for 2, 4, 9, or 17 wk, and samples with BHT stored for 17 wk. No difference was found in proportions of PUFA at baseline and after storage for 2 and 4 wk without BHT, and 17 wk with BHT. After 9 wk without BHT the proportion of 22∶6n−3 in RBC was lower, and after 17 wk without BHT proportions of all PUFA were lower than at baseline. High proportion of 22∶6n−3 in RBC at baseline was associated with more stable concentration of total FA in RBC without BHT during 17 wk. The findings indicate that PUFA in RBC from healthy women are stable at −20°C for 4 wk, without BHT and for at least 17 wk with BHT.

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monousaturated FA


red blood cells


saturated FA


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Correspondence to Gudrun V. Skuladottir.

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Magnusardottir, A.R., Skuladottir, G.V. Effects of storage time and added antioxidant on fatty acid composition of red blood cells at −20°C. Lipids 41, 401–404 (2006).

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