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Eur J Clin Nutr. 1999 Dec;53(12):927-32.

Effect of low-saturated fat, low-cholesterol dietary intervention on fatty acid compositions in serum lipid fractions in 5-year-old children. The STRIP project.

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The Cardiorespiratory Research Unit, University of Turku.



To evaluate the effect of dietary low-saturated fat, low-cholesterol intervention on fat intake and fatty acid compositions in serum cholesterol ester (CE), phospholipid (PL) and triglyceride (TG) fractions in five-year-old children.


The STRIP project is a prospective, randomised intervention project in which 1062 seven-month-old infants were recruited from the well-baby clinics. 764 children participated in the 5-year follow-up; 202 of them were randomly selected for this study. Diet was assessed with 4-d dietary records. Serum CE, PL and TG fatty acid compositions were analysed with gas-liquid chromatography.


Saturated fat intake of intervention children (mean (confidence interval)) (girls 11.9 (11.2-12.6) % of energy intake (E%); boys 12.5 (11.9-13.1)) was lower than that of the control children (girls 14.4 (13.7-15.2) E%; boys 15.0 (14.3-15. 8) E%) (P=0.0001 for the difference between intervention and control groups). The intake of unsaturated fat differed only slightly. Dietary ratios of polyunsaturated to saturated fatty acids (PS ratios) of the intervention and control diets were 0.44 and 0.33, respectively (P=0.0001). Furthermore, serum cholesterol concentrations of the intervention and control children differed (4. 28 (4.13-4.43) mmol/L vs 4.49 (4.35-4.63) mmol/L; P=0.04). Relative proportion of saturated fatty acids in serum TG was lower (34.9% vs 36.3%; P=0.04) and that of n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids higher (13.9% vs 12.4%; P=0.0004) in the intervention than in the control children, whereas serum CE and PL fatty acid compositions of intervention and control groups were closely similar. However, intake of linoleic acid correlated better with serum linoleic acid relative content in the CE fraction (r=0.36; P=0.0001) than in the PL (r=0.27; P=0.0002) or in the TG (r=0.23; P=0.0016) fraction.


Intervention resulted in decreased intake of saturated fatty acids and lowered serum total and LDL cholesterol concentrations. Of serum lipid fractions, TG fatty acid composition was the most sensitive and parallelled the findings in dietary food records.

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