, Volume 49, Issue 5, pp 467-479
Date: 25 Mar 2014

Cross-Sectional Associations of Food Consumption with Plasma Fatty Acid Composition and Estimated Desaturase Activities in Finnish Children

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Plasma fatty acid (FA) composition is known to be an indicator of dietary fat quality, but the associations of other dietary factors with plasma FA composition remain unknown in children. We investigated the cross-sectional associations of food consumption with the proportions of FA and estimated desaturase activities in plasma cholesteryl esters (CE) and phospholipids (PL) among children. The subjects were a population sample of 423 children aged 6–8 years examined at baseline of The Physical Activity and Nutrition in Children (PANIC) Study. We assessed food consumption by food records and plasma FA composition by gas chromatography. We used linear regression models adjusted for age, sex, physical activity and total energy intake to analyze the associations. A higher consumption of vegetable oil-based margarine (fat 60–80 %) was associated with a higher proportion of linoleic and α-linolenic acids in plasma CE and PL. A higher consumption of high-fiber grain products was related to a lower proportion of oleic acid in CE and PL. The consumption of candy was directly associated with the proportion of palmitoleic and oleic acid in plasma CE. The consumption of vegetable oil-based margarine was inversely associated with estimated stearoyl-CoA-desaturase activity in plasma CE and PL and the consumption of candy was directly related to it in plasma CE. The results of our study suggest that plasma FA composition is not only a biomarker for dietary fat quality but also reflects the consumption of high-fiber grain products and foods high in sugar among children.