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A recent study demonstrated that feeding a diet with a thermally oxidized fat increases the concentration of thyroxine in plasma of miniature pigs. This study was undertaken to investigate whether the effect of thermally oxidized fats on plasma thyroid hormones is influenced by the supply of vitamin E or selenium. Two experiments were conducted using male Sprague-Dawley rats. The first experiment included eight groups of rats fed diets with either fresh fat or three different types of oxidized fat prepared by heating at 50 degrees C, 105 degrees C or 190 degrees C for 42 d. The diets contained either 25 or 250 mg alpha-tocopherol equivalents per kg. The second experiment included four groups of rats fed diets with fresh fat or oxidized fat heated at 55 degrees C, containing either 70 or 570 microg selenium per kg for 56 d. Rats fed all types of oxidized fats had higher concentrations of free and total thyroxine in plasma than rats fed the equivalent diets with fresh oil; the concentrations of triiodothyronine and thyroid-stimulating hormone did not differ between rats fed fresh and those fed oxidized fats. The effect of the oxidized fat on the plasma thyroxine concentration was completely independent of the supply of vitamin E (expt. 1) and the supply of selenium (expt. 2). Our results confirm that oxidized dietary fats raise the plasma thyroxine concentration and show that this phenomenon is independent of the vitamin E and selenium status.