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BMC Med. 2017 Nov 17;15(1):203. doi: 10.1186/s12916-017-0968-4.

Association between plasma phospholipid saturated fatty acids and metabolic markers of lipid, hepatic, inflammation and glycaemic pathways in eight European countries: a cross-sectional analysis in the EPIC-InterAct study.

Author information

1
MRC Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine, Box 285, Institute of Metabolic Science, Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Cambridge, CB2 0QQ, UK. jusheng.zheng@mrc-epid.cam.ac.uk.
2
MRC Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine, Box 285, Institute of Metabolic Science, Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Cambridge, CB2 0QQ, UK.
3
MRC Elsie Widdowson Laboratory, Cambridge, UK.
4
NIHR BRC Nutritional Biomarker Laboratory, Cambridge, UK.
5
Department of Molecular Epidemiology, German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke, Nuthetal, Germany.
6
Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.
7
Navarra Public Health Institute (ISPN), Pamplona, Spain.
8
Navarra Institute for Health Research (ldiSNA), Pamplona, Spain.
9
CIBER Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP), Madrid, Spain.
10
Department of Epidemiology, Murcia Regional Health Council, IMIB-Arrixaca, Murcia, Spain.
11
University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
12
Unit of Nutrition and Cancer, Cancer Epidemiology Research Program, Catalan Institute of Oncology-IDIBELL, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain.
13
Department of Epidemiology, German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke, Nuthetal, Germany.
14
Research Group on Demography and Health, National Faculty of Public Health, University of Antioquia, Medellín, Colombia.
15
INSERM U1018, Center for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health, Villejuif, France.
16
University Paris-Saclay, University Paris-Sud, Villejuif, France.
17
Gustave Roussy, F-94805, Villejuif, France.
18
Public Health Division of Gipuzkoa, San Sebastian, Spain.
19
Department of Cardiology, Aalborg University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark.
20
Lund University, Malmö, Sweden.
21
Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.
22
Wageningen University, Wageningen, Netherlands.
23
German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Division of Cancer Epidemiology, Heidelberg, Germany.
24
Cancer Epidemiology Unit, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.
25
Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.
26
A.O.U. Federico II, Naples, Italy.
27
Escuela Andaluza de Salud Pública, Instituto de Investigación Biosanitaria ibs.GRANADA, Hospitales Universitarios de Granada/Universidad de Granada, Granada, Spain.
28
Danish Cancer Society Research Center, Copenhagen, Denmark.
29
Department of Public Health, Section for Epidemiology, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark.
30
Cancer Research and Prevention Institute (ISPO), Florence, Italy.
31
Public Health Directorate, Asturias, Spain.
32
Department of Clinical and Biological Sciences, University of Turin, Turin, Italy.
33
Unit of Epidemiology, Regional Health Service ASL TO3, Grugliasco, Turin, Italy.
34
National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Bilthoven, The Netherlands.
35
International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France.
36
Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy.
37
Cancer Registry and Histopathology Department, "Civic M.P. Arezzo" Hospital, ASP, Ragusa, Italy.
38
School of Public Health, Imperial College London, London, UK.
39
MRC Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine, Box 285, Institute of Metabolic Science, Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Cambridge, CB2 0QQ, UK. Nita.Forouhi@mrc-epid.cam.ac.uk.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Accumulating evidence suggests that individual circulating saturated fatty acids (SFAs) are heterogeneous in their associations with cardio-metabolic diseases, but evidence about associations of SFAs with metabolic markers of different pathogenic pathways is limited. We aimed to examine the associations between plasma phospholipid SFAs and the metabolic markers of lipid, hepatic, glycaemic and inflammation pathways.

METHODS:

We measured nine individual plasma phospholipid SFAs and derived three SFA groups (odd-chain: C15:0 + C17:0, even-chain: C14:0 + C16:0 + C18:0, and very-long-chain: C20:0 + C22:0 + C23:0 + C24:0) in individuals from the subcohort of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)-InterAct case-cohort study across eight European countries. Using linear regression in 15,919 subcohort members, adjusted for potential confounders and corrected for multiple testing, we examined cross-sectional associations of SFAs with 13 metabolic markers. Multiplicative interactions of the three SFA groups with pre-specified factors, including body mass index (BMI) and alcohol consumption, were tested.

RESULTS:

Higher levels of odd-chain SFA group were associated with lower levels of major lipids (total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides, apolipoprotein A-1 (ApoA1), apolipoprotein B (ApoB)) and hepatic markers (alanine transaminase (ALT), aspartate transaminase (AST), gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT)). Higher even-chain SFA group levels were associated with higher levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), TC/high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) ratio, triglycerides, ApoB, ApoB/A1 ratio, ALT, AST, GGT and CRP, and lower levels of HDL-C and ApoA1. Very-long-chain SFA group levels showed inverse associations with triglycerides, ApoA1 and GGT, and positive associations with TC, LDL-C, TC/HDL-C, ApoB and ApoB/A1. Associations were generally stronger at higher levels of BMI or alcohol consumption.

CONCLUSIONS:

Subtypes of SFAs are associated in a differential way with metabolic markers of lipid metabolism, liver function and chronic inflammation, suggesting that odd-chain SFAs are associated with lower metabolic risk and even-chain SFAs with adverse metabolic risk, whereas mixed findings were obtained for very-long-chain SFAs. The clinical and biochemical implications of these findings may vary by adiposity and alcohol intake.

KEYWORDS:

Even-chain; Glycaemic; Hepatic; Inflammation; Lipids; Metabolic markers; Odd-chain; Saturated fatty acids; Very-long-chain

PMID:
29145892
PMCID:
PMC5691386
DOI:
10.1186/s12916-017-0968-4
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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