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Lipids. 2004 May;39(5):425-31.

Fatty acid profile and affective dysregulation in irritable bowel syndrome.

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Departments of Psychiatry and Gastroenterology, University Hospital Maastricht, 6202 AZ, Maastricht, The Netherlands.


Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional gastrointestinal disorder with a high co-occurrence with affective dysregulation. Affective disorders have been associated with specific changes in the PUFA and cholesterol profile. In IBS, similar changes may be present as have been reported in patients with affective disorders. This exploratory study investigates (i) the level of affective dysregulation (AD) in IBS patients and healthy controls; (ii) PUFA and cholesterol profiles in IBS patients compared with controls; and (iii) associations between PUFA and cholesterol parameters with the level of AD. Blood samples were obtained for determination of the FA composition of plasma phospholipids and serum cholesterol in 23 diarrhea-predominant IBS patients and 23 healthy matched controls. AD was scored using the Symptom Check List depression scale, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale. The level of AD was higher in IBS patients compared with controls. PUFA and cholesterol profiles did not differ significantly between groups. Total n-3 PUFA and cholesterol were significantly negatively associated and the ratio of n-6 to n-3 PUFA and the ratio of arachidonic acid to EPA were significantly positively associated with the level of AD. The findings of the present study reveal that AD was higher in IBS patients compared with healthy controls and that changes in PUFA and cholesterol profiles were significantly associated with the level of AD. These results warrant further studies regarding the role of PUFA and cholesterol status in the co-occurrence of AD and functional gastrointestinal disorders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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