The Influence of Chronic Vitamin C Deficiency on Fatty Acid Composition of Blood Serum, Liver Triglycerides and Cholesterol Esters in Guinea Pigs
Chronic hypovitaminosis C (2-week scorbutogenic regime followed by administration of maintenance dose of 0.5 mg ascorbic acid for 24 hours) in guinea pigs produced hypercholesterolemia and an increased accumulation of cholesterol in liver. Deficiency of ascorbic acid increased significantly the content of saturated fatty acids (up to chain length C16) and decreased content of mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids in cholesterol esters of liver. Similar changes were observed after administration of the same diet supplemented with 0.25% of cholesterol to guinea pigs saturated with vitamin C. In blood serum of vitamin C-deficient guinea pigs, the cholesterol esters contain an increased amount of linoleic acid and a decreased amount of palmitic and oleic acids. The spectrum of fatty acids in triglycerides of blood serum and liver was not significantly affected by hypovitaminosis C. It is surmised that the primary cause of the observed changes is the disturbance of cholesterol metabolism, produced by chronic vitamin C deficiency.
The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 99, Issue 3, November 1969, Pages 261–266, https://doi.org/10.1093/jn/99.3.261