Lipids

, Volume 43, Issue 2, pp 181–186 | Cite as

Validation of a Rapid Measure of Blood PUFA Levels in Humans

  • Eileen Bailey-Hall
  • Edward B. Nelson
  • Alan S. Ryan
Methods

Abstract

An assay involving a finger stick and filter paper blood spotting was developed to determine polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) levels in blood. Capillary whole blood from a finger stick was blotted on antioxidant impregnated filter paper, air dried, saponified and methylated using sodium hydroxide and boron trifluoride in methanol. The method differed from those described previously because separation of plasma and red blood cells (RBCs) was not needed, thin-layer chromatography (TLC) was not required to separate phospholipids, initial extraction of lipids before transesterification was not necessary, and the fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) method was able to methylate steryl esters, free fatty acids, and sphingomyelins. Twenty-six subjects provided blood samples by finger stick and venipuncture. Levels of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA) from capillary whole blood were correlated with those from RBCs and PLs in venous blood (P < 0.001, R 2 ranged from 0.64 to 0.86). Although highly significant (P < 0.002), the R 2 values for the correlation between arachidonic acid (ARA) levels in capillary whole blood with ARA levels in RBCs and plasma phospholipids (PLs) were relatively lower (R 2 = 0.31–0.41, respectively). Results indicate that the described finger stick assay represents a fast, reliable method to measure specific LC-PUFA levels.

Keywords

Polyunsaturated fatty acid levels Phospholipid levels Finger stick Blood assay 

Abbreviations

AOCS

American Oil Chemists’ Society

ARA

Arachidonic acid

DHA

Docosahexaenoic acid

DPAn-6

Docosapentaenoic acid

EPA

Eicosapentaenoic acid

FAME

Fatty acid methyl esters

LC-PUFA

Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids

PLs

Plasma phospholipids

PUFA

Polyunsaturated fatty acids

RBCs

Red blood cells

TLC

Thin-layer chromatography

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Copyright information

© AOCS 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eileen Bailey-Hall
    • 1
  • Edward B. Nelson
    • 1
  • Alan S. Ryan
    • 1
  1. 1.Martek Biosciences CorporationColumbiaUSA

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