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Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Feb;83(2):227-36.

Effect of a low-fat diet on fatty acid composition in red cells, plasma phospholipids, and cholesterol esters: investigation of a biomarker of total fat intake.

Author information

1
Cancer Prevention Program, Division of Public Health Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA 98109-1024, USA. iking@fhcrc.org

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The utility of fatty acids (FAs) as biomarkers of total fat intake is unknown.

OBJECTIVE:

We compared FA changes in red cells (RCs), plasma phospholipids (PLs), and cholesterol esters (CEs) in response to a low-fat diet (LFD) and a moderate-fat diet (MFD) and assessed whether individual or combination of FAs predict LFD.

DESIGN:

Postmenopausal women (n = 66) were randomly assigned to receive an LFD (17% of energy from fat) or an MFD (34% of energy from fat) for 6 wk. All foods were provided. FAs in diets and blood were determined by gas-liquid chromatography. FA changes between baseline and end of study were compared across diets by using t tests. FA predictors of an LFD were selected by logistic regression.

RESULTS:

Many FAs in RCs, PLs, and CEs responded differently to the 2 diets. Changes from baseline with an LFD for palmitic acid (16:0) (3-11% increase), behenic (22:0) and lignoceric (24:0) acids (3-20% decrease, in RCs and PLs only), cis-monounsaturated FA (MUFA) (25-35% increase), linoleic acid (18:2n-6) (11-13% decrease), trans octadecanoic acids (trans 18:1) (7-20% decrease), and n-6 highly unsaturated FA (HUFA) (2-8% increase) were significantly different from changes with an MFD. Individually, 18:2n-6 and trans 18:1 were strong predictors of an LFD [receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves: 0.92-0.80). A logistic regression model with trans 18:1, 18:2n-6, and vaccenic acid (18:1n-7) predicted an LFD with high specificity and sensitivity (ROC curves: 0.99).

CONCLUSIONS:

Saturated FA, cisMUFA, n-6 HUFA, and exogenous FAs greatly differed in their response to the LFD and MFD. Parallel responses were observed in RCs, PLs, and CEs. A model with a combination of FAs almost perfectly differentiated the consumption of 34% fat from that of 17% fat.

PMID:
16469979
DOI:
10.1093/ajcn/83.2.227
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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