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Eur J Clin Nutr. 2010 Aug;64(8):792-9. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2010.75. Epub 2010 May 26.

Serum fatty acids and risk of advanced beta-cell autoimmunity: a nested case-control study among children with HLA-conferred susceptibility to type I diabetes.

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Nutrition Unit, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland.



N-3 (omega-3) fatty acids have been reported to decrease the risk for development of beta-cell autoimmunity and clinical type I diabetes. We set out to examine whether different serum fatty acids are associated with the development of advanced beta-cell autoimmunity in children carrying human leukocyte antigen DQ beta-1 (HLA-DQB1)-conferred susceptibility to type I diabetes.


Within a cohort, serum total fatty acid composition of 108 children with advanced beta-cell autoimmunity and of 216 matched persistently autoantibody-negative controls was analyzed using gas chromatography. Non-fasting serum samples were obtained annually at the ages of 1-6 years. Conditional logistic regression was applied to analyze the associations between advanced beta-cell autoimmunity and serum fatty acids.


The serum fatty acid profile of myristic acid (odds ratio (OR) 1.48, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.09-2.00, P=0.011), pentadecanoic acid (OR 1.65, 95% CI 1.19-2.28, P=0.003), palmitoleic acid isomers 16:1 n-7 (omega-7) (OR 1.41, 95% CI 1.03-1.92, P=0.030) and 16:1 n-9 (omega-9) (OR 1.45, 95% CI 1.05-2.01, P=0.026) and conjugated linoleic acid (OR 1.67, 95% CI 1.16-2.41, P=0.006) closest to the time of the appearance of multiple autoantibodies were positively associated with the risk of advanced beta-cell autoimmunity after adjustment for potential confounding factors. Serum linoleic acid showed inverse, marginal association with the end point.


Serum biomarkers of milk and ruminant meat fat consumption are directly associated and linoleic acid is inversely associated with advanced beta-cell autoimmunity in children with HLA-conferred susceptibility to type I diabetes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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