Plasma phospholipid fatty acid profile, estimated desaturase activities and prevalence of the metabolic syndrome in a general population cohort: A cross-sectional study

Yinjie Zhu*, Fabian A. Vogelpohl, M. Rebecca Heiner-Fokkema, Ilse G. Pranger, Isidor Minovi’c, Gerjan J. Navis, Stephan J.L. Bakker, Ineke J. Riphagen

*Corresponding author for this work

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BACKGROUND: An altered plasma fatty acid (FA) profile and desaturase activities have been associated with several metabolic diseases, including the MetS, but studies in the general populations are lacking, and only few studies have investigated a broad spectrum of FA in plasma phospholipids (PL).
OBJECTIVE: We investigated, cross-sectionally, the relationship of the FA profile and desaturase activities in plasma PL with the prevalence of MetS in a general population in The Netherlands.
METHODS: Baseline characteristic data from 850 participants (Male: 50.2%) aged 38-68 years recruited in the Lifelines Cohort study were obtained. The FA profile was determined in fasting plasma PL, and desaturase activities were estimated from product/precursor ratios. The MetS was defined according to International Diabetes Federation. Logistic regressions were used to examine the relation of the FA profile with the prevalence of MetS, and Bonferroni correction was applied to account for multiple testing.
RESULTS: 151 participants (17.7%) had the MetS. After adjustment for several confounders and Bonferroni correction, higher tertiles of C18 : 0 (the early precursor of de novo lipogenesis pathway), C18 : 3n6 and C20 : 3n6 (both consistent with a high Δ 6 desaturase (D6D) activity), and D6D activity itself were associated with a higher prevalence of MetS, while higher tertiles of C18 : 1n7, C24 : 0, and C24 : 1n9 (very-long-chain FA) as well as stearoyl-CoA desaturase (SCD)-18 were inversely associated with the MetS.
CONCLUSIONS: This study shows that a wide-ranging plasma PL FA profile and estimated desaturase activities were different between adults with and without the MetS in a general representative population and implicates the importance of monitoring individual FAs and desaturase activities as novel modifiable biomarkers for the MetS.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-146
Number of pages12
JournalNutrition and Healthy Aging
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 29-Dec-2022

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