Vargas-Bello-Perez E; Larrain RE. - - J Sci Food Agric 2017; 97(7): 1969-78

Impacts of fat from ruminants’ meat on cardiovascular health and possible strategies to alter its lipid composition

In the last decades there has been an increased consumer interest in the fatty acid (FA) composition of ruminant meat due to its content of saturated FA, which have been implicated in diseases associated with modern life. However, recent studies have questioned the recommendations to reduce intake of fat, saturated FA and cholesterol as a mean of reducing risk of cardiovascular disease. Interestingly, ruminant meat has some bioactive lipids such as C18:1t11 and C18:2 c9, t11 which have been reported to have positive effects on human health. In order to improve muscle fat composition from a human health standpoint, oilseeds, plant oils and marine oils can be used in ruminant diets. On the other hand, molecular mechanisms play an important role in the alteration of the FA composition of muscle fat. Genetics offer a wide range of possibilities for improvement of muscle fat composition by identifying different loci underlying the expression of quantitative traits. While significant progress has been made in characterizing the influence of diet on the FA composition of ruminant meat, the use of genetic tools can favor genotypes that could maximize their genetic potential through the diet.