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Individual fatty acids in erythrocyte membranes are associated with several features of the metabolic syndrome in obese children

  • Sara Bonafini
  • Angela Tagetti
  • Rossella Gaudino
  • Paolo Cavarzere
  • Martina Montagnana
  • Elisa Danese
  • Marco Benati
  • Diego Alberto Ramaroli
  • Sara Raimondi
  • Alice Giontella
  • Anna Mantovani
  • Angela Donato
  • Andrea Dalbeni
  • Pietro Minuz
  • Franco Antoniazzi
  • Claudio Maffeis
  • Cristiano Fava
Original Contribution

Abstract

Purpose

Obesity leads to the clustering of cardiovascular (CV) risk factors and the metabolic syndrome (MetS) also in children and is often accompanied by non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Quality of dietary fat, beyond the quantity, can influence CV risk profile and, in particular, omega-3 fatty acids (FA) have been proposed as beneficial in this setting. The aim of the study was to evaluate the associations of individual CV risk factors, characterizing the MetS, with erythrocyte membrane FA, markers of average intake, in a group of 70 overweight/obese children.

Methods

We conducted an observational study. Erythrocyte membrane FA were measured by gas chromatography. Spearman correlation coefficients (rS) were calculated to evaluate associations between FA and features of the MetS.

Results

Mean content of Omega-3 FA was low (Omega-3 Index = 4.7 ± 0.8%). Not omega-3 FA but some omega-6 FA, especially arachidonic acid (AA), were inversely associated with several features of the MetS: AA resulted inversely correlated with waist circumference (rS = − 0.352), triglycerides (rS = − 0.379), fasting insulin (rS = − 0.337) and 24-h SBP (rS = − 0.313). Total amount of saturated FA (SFA) and specifically palmitic acid, correlated positively with waist circumference (rS = 0.354), triglycerides (rS = 0.400) and fasting insulin (rS = 0.287). Fatty Liver Index (FLI), a predictive score of steatosis based on GGT, triglycerides and anthropometric indexes, was positively correlated to palmitic acid (rS = 0.515) and inversely to AA (rS = − 0.472).

Conclusions

Our data suggest that omega-6 FA, and especially AA, could be protective toward CV risk factors featuring the MetS and also to indexes of hepatic steatosis in obese children, whereas SFA seems to exert opposite effects.

Keywords

Omega-6 fatty acids Saturated fatty acids Arachidonic acid Palmitic acid Metabolic syndrome Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease Children 

Abbreviations

AA

Arachidonic acid

ALA

Alpha-linoleic acid

ALT

Alanine aminotransferase

AST

Aspartate aminotransferase

BP

Blood pressure

CV

Cardiovascular

D5D

Delta-5 desaturase

D6D

Delta-6 desaturase

DBP

Diastolic blood pressure

DGLA

Dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid

DHA

Docosahexaenoic acid

EPA

Eicosapentaenoic acid

FA

Fatty acid

FLI

Fatty Liver Index

GGT

Gamma-glutamylatransferase

GLA

Gamma-linolenic acid

LA

Linoleic acid

MetS

Metabolic syndrome

NAFLD

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

O-DBP

Office diastolic blood pressure

O-SBP

Office systolic blood pressure

PA

Palmitic acid

RCT

Randomized controlled trial

SBP

Systolic blood pressure

SCD

Delta-9 desaturase

SFA

Saturated fatty acid

TRI

Triglycerides

Notes

Acknowledgements

Part of this work was performed in the LURM (Laboratorio Universitario di Ricerca Medica) Research Center, University of Verona.

Funding

The study is supported by a Grant of the Italian Ministry of Health (GR-2011-02349630) to CF in agreement with the ‘Regione Veneto’ and the ‘Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Integrata di Verona’.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares that they have no competing interest.

Supplementary material

394_2018_1677_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (120 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 120 KB)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sara Bonafini
    • 1
  • Angela Tagetti
    • 1
  • Rossella Gaudino
    • 2
  • Paolo Cavarzere
    • 2
  • Martina Montagnana
    • 3
  • Elisa Danese
    • 3
  • Marco Benati
    • 3
  • Diego Alberto Ramaroli
    • 2
  • Sara Raimondi
    • 1
  • Alice Giontella
    • 1
  • Anna Mantovani
    • 1
  • Angela Donato
    • 1
  • Andrea Dalbeni
    • 1
  • Pietro Minuz
    • 1
  • Franco Antoniazzi
    • 2
  • Claudio Maffeis
    • 2
  • Cristiano Fava
    • 1
  1. 1.“General Medicine and Hypertension” Unit, Department of MedicineAOUI, Hospital “Policlinico G.B. Rossi”, University of VeronaVeronaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Surgery, Dentistry, Paediatrics and GynaecologyUniversity of VeronaVeronaItaly
  3. 3.Department of Neuroscience, Biomedicine and Movement ScienceUniversity of VeronaVeronaItaly

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