Contribution of meat fat to dietary arachidonic acid


Arachidonic acid (AA) in the diet can be efficiently absorbed and incorporated into tissue membranes, resulting in an increased production of thromboxane A2 by platelets and increased ex vivo platelet aggregability. Results from previous studies have shown that AA is concentrated in the membrane phospholipids of lean meats. However, the concentration of AA in the visible fat portion of meats also may be significant despite being ignored in most studies. The aim of this study was to accurately quantitate the AA content of visible fat and the lean portion of beef, lamb, pork, chicken, duck, and turkey. The visible fat of meat contained a significant quantity of AA, ranging from 20 to 180 mg/100 g fat, whereas the AA content of the lean portion of meat was lower, ranging from 30 to 99 mg/100 g lean meat. Beef and lamb meats contained lower levels of AA in both the visible fat and lean portion than that from the other species. The highest level of AA in lean meat was in duck (99 mg/100 g), whereas pork fat had the highest concentration for the visible fats (180 mg/100 g). The lean portions of beef and lamb contained the higher levels of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) compared with white meats which were high in AA and low in n-3 PUFA. The present data indicate that the visible meat fat can make a contribution to dietary intake of AA, particularly for consumers with high intakes of fat from pork or poultry meat.

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arachidonic acid


polyunsaturated fatty acids


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Correspondence to Andrew J. Sinclair.

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Li, D., Ng, A., Mann, N.J. et al. Contribution of meat fat to dietary arachidonic acid. Lipids 33, 437–440 (1998).

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  • Arachidonic Acid
  • Lean Meat
  • White Meat
  • Lamb Meat
  • Arachidonic Acid Concentration