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Eur J Clin Nutr. 2014 Apr;68(4):464-73. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2013.284. Epub 2014 Feb 5.

The role of dietary fat on the association between dietary amino acids and serum lipid profile in European adolescents participating in the HELENA Study.

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8217;Growth, Exercise, Nutrition and Development' (GENUD) Research Group, Department of Physiatry and Nursery, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain.
1] Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University Hospital, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium [2] International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), Dietary Exposure Assessment Group (DEX), Lyon, France.
Department of Physiology, Medicine School, Granada University, Granada, Spain.
Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Harokopio University, Athens, Greece.
Immunonutrition Research Group, Department of Metabolism and Nutrition, Institute of Food Science, Technology and Nutrition (ICTAN), Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), Madrid, Spain.
Department of Pediatrics, University of Pécs, Pécs-József, Hungary.
Department of Social Medicine, Preventive Medicine and Nutrition Unit, University of Crete School of Medicine, Heraklion, Greece.
Inserm U995, Faculty of Medicine, University Lille 2, Lille, France.
Department of Pediatrics, Division of Clinical Nutrition and Prevention, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.
Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Karolinska Institute, Huddinge, Sweden.
Institut für Ernährungs- und Lebensmittelwissenschaften - Humanernährung, Rheinische Friedich-Wilhelms-Universität, Bonn, Germany.
National Research Institute for Food and Nutrition, INRAN, Rome, Italy.
1] Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University Hospital, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium [2] Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO), Brussels, Belgium.
1] ImFine Research Group, Departamento de Salud y Rendimiento Humano, Facultad de Ciencias de la Actividad Física y del Deporte-INEF, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Madrid, Spain [2] CIBER: CB12/03/30038 Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y la Nutrición, CIBERobn, Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII), Spain.



The objective of this study was to examine the relationship between amino acid (AA) intake and serum lipid profile in European adolescents from eight European cities participating in the cross-sectional (2006-2007) HELENA (Healthy Lifestyle in Europe by Nutrition in Adolescence) study, and to assess whether this association was independent of total fat intake.


Diet, skinfold thickness, triglycerides (TG), total cholesterol (TC), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-c), TC/HDL-c ratio, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-c), apolipoprotein B (Apo B), apolipoprotein A1 (Apo A1) and Apo B/Apo A1 ratio were measured in 454 12.5- to 17.5-year-old adolescents (44% boys). Intake was assessed via two non-consecutive 24-h dietary recalls. Data on maternal education and sedentary behaviors were obtained via questionnaires. Physical activity was objectively measured by accelerometry.


Alanine, arginine, asparaginic acid, glycine, histidine, lysine and serine intakes were inversely associated with serum TG concentrations in both boys and girls. Intake of other AA like alanine and/or arginine was also inversely associated with serum TC, LDL-c and Apo B/Apo A1 ratio only in girls. An inverse association was observed between intakes of alanine, isoleucine, leucine, methionine, serine, tryptophan, tyrosine and valine and TC/HDL-c ratio among female adolescents. Similar results were found in males for serine and tryptophan intakes. It is noteworthy, however, that associations were no longer significant in both genders when total fat intake was considered as a confounding factor.


In this sample of adolescents, the association between AA intakes and serum lipid profile did not persist when dietary fat was considered. Therefore, dietary interventions and health promotion activities should focus on fat intake to improve lipid profile and potentially prevent cardiovascular disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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