, Volume 49, Issue 5, pp 467–479

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

  • Taisa Venäläinen
  • Ursula Schwab
  • Jyrki Ågren
  • Vanessa de Mello
  • Virpi Lindi
  • Aino-Maija Eloranta
  • Sanna Kiiskinen
  • David Laaksonen
  • Timo A. Lakka
Original Article


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.


Diet Fatty acid composition Cholesteryl ester Phospholipid Stearoyl-CoA-desaturase ∆6-Desaturase ∆5-Desaturase Children The PANIC study 



Cholesteryl ester


Fatty acid(s)










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Copyright information

© AOCS 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Taisa Venäläinen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ursula Schwab
    • 2
    • 4
  • Jyrki Ågren
    • 1
  • Vanessa de Mello
    • 2
  • Virpi Lindi
    • 1
  • Aino-Maija Eloranta
    • 1
    • 3
  • Sanna Kiiskinen
    • 1
  • David Laaksonen
    • 4
  • Timo A. Lakka
    • 1
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.Institute of Biomedicine, PhysiologyUniversity of Eastern FinlandKuopioFinland
  2. 2.Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, Clinical NutritionUniversity of Eastern FinlandKuopioFinland
  3. 3.Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, Public HealthUniversity of Eastern FinlandKuopioFinland
  4. 4.Institute of Clinical Medicine, Internal MedicineKuopio University HospitalKuopioFinland
  5. 5.Kuopio Research Institute of Exercise MedicineKuopioFinland
  6. 6.Department of Clinical Physiology and Nuclear MedicineKuopio University HospitalKuopioFinland

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