measuring polyunsaturated acid dietary intake

P Astorg et al 2008 Plasma n-6 and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids as biomarkers of their dietary intakes: a cross-sectional study within a cohort of middle-aged French men and women European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2008) 62, 1155–1161;

Astorg and colleagues have measured the correlations between habitual intakes of individual n-6 and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and their percentages in total plasma fatty acids in a French population of adult men and women.

Fifteen 24-h record questionnaires were used to estimate the habitual intake of energy, total fat and linoleic, alpha-linolenic acid, arachidonic, eicosapentaenoic (EPA), n-3 docosapentaenoic (DPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA) acids. Fatty acid composition of fasting plasma total lipids were determined at baseline.

Dietary intakes of linoleic acid, arachidonic acid, EPA and DHA were weakly but significantly correlated (0.16They concluded that the percentages of linoleic acid, arachidonic acid, EPA and DHA in plasma total fatty acids, but not that of alpha-linolenic acid, are acceptable markers of their habitual levels of intake. The plasma levels of long-chain n-6 and n-3 PUFA are not influenced by the intake levels of their precursors, linoleic and alpha-linolenic acids.

Martin Eastwood
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