12 January - 20 June 2016

Plasma fatty acids reflect dietary carbohydrate as well as fat

23 Apr 14

The fatty acid composition of blood reflects the quality of both dietary fat and carbohydrates, according to new research from Finland. The research, led by Taisa Venalainen, investigated the cross-sectional associations of food consumption with the proportions of fatty acids, and estimated desaturase activities in plasma cholesteryl esters and phospholipids in children.

The researchers analysed data from a population of 423 children aged 6-8 years old, assessing food consumption by food records and plasma fatty acid composition by gas chromatography. The findings showed that a higher consumption of vegetable oil-based margarine was associated with a higher proportion of linoleic and α-linolenic acids among the cholesteryl esters and phospholipids in blood plasma. A higher consumption of high-fibre grain products, meanwhile, was related to a lower proportion of oleic acid in cholesteryl and phospholipids.

The researchers noted that consumption of candy was directly associated with the proportion of palmitoleic and oleic acid in plasma cholesteryl esters, adding that vegetable oil-based margarine consumption was inversely associated with estimated stearoyl-CoA-desaturase activity in plasma cholesteryl esters and phospholipids and the consumption of candy was directly related to in plasma cholesteryl esters.

The results of the study suggest that plasma fatty acid composition is not only a biomarker for dietary fat quality but also reflects the consumption of high-fibre grain products and foods high in sugar among children. Dietary intervention studies will be needed to clarify the effect of changes in the quality of dietary carbohydrates on plasma fatty acid composition. [FoodNavigator]

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