Date of Original Version
Elite human and animal athletes must acquire the fuels necessary for extreme feats, but also contend with the oxidative damage associated with peak metabolic performance. Here, we show that a migratory bird with fuel stores composed of more omega-6 polyunsaturated fats (PUFA) expended 11% less energy during long-duration (6 hr) flights with no change in oxidative costs; however, this short-term energy savings came at the long-term cost of higher oxidative damage in the omega-6 PUFA-fed birds. Given that fatty acids are primary fuels, key signaling molecules, the building blocks of cell membranes, and that oxidative damage has long-term consequences for health and ageing, the energy savings-oxidative cost trade-off demonstrated here may be fundamentally important for a wide diversity of organisms on earth.
McWilliams et al. eLife 2020;9:e60626. DOI: https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.60626
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.