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Lipids. 2010 Feb;45(2):137-44. doi: 10.1007/s11745-010-3386-3. Epub 2010 Jan 22.

Fatty acid composition of plasma, erythrocytes and adipose: their correlations and effects of age and sex.

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Division of Surgery, Takii Hospital of Kansai Medical University, Moriguchi, Osaka, Japan.


The composition of fatty acids in abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue and the correlation of fatty acid values of plasma and erythrocytes had not been reported in Japan. The aim of the present study was to investigate the fatty acid composition and correlation of plasma and erythrocyte phospholipids (PL) and adipose triacylglycerols (TG) in 75 adult patients admitted for non-malignant diseases. We also examined the relationship of n-3 and n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) with patients' characteristics. The total n-3 PUFA were 11.2, 11.8 and 1.9%, and the ratios of n-6/n-3 were 2.41, 1.87 and 8.20 in plasma and erythrocyte PL and adipose TG, respectively. There were the highest correlations for total n-3 PUFA and the n-6/n-3 ratio between plasma and erythrocyte PL and adipose TG. There was a positive correlation between n-3 PUFAs and age, but a negative correlation was found between n-6 PUFAs and age. There was no significant difference in the values of PUFAs in plasma and erythrocyte PL and adipose TG between men and women. The patients with cholesterol cholecystolithiasis showed a significantly lower proportion of eicosapentaenoic acid in plasma and erythrocyte PL than those of the other patients. Our findings suggest that PUFA in plasma and erythrocyte PL may be good biomarkers and more acceptable for studying participants than adipose TG.

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