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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Boston, Massachusetts » Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #331862

Research Project: Improving Cardiovascular Health with Diet

Location: Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging

Title: Associations of erythrocyte fatty acid patterns with insulin resistance

Author
item Bigornia, Sherman - University Of Massachusetts
item Lichtenstein, Alice - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University
item Harris, William - University Of South Dakota
item Tucker, Katherine - University Of Massachusetts

Submitted to: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/5/2016
Publication Date: 3/1/2016
Citation: Bigornia, S.J., Lichtenstein, A.H., Harris, W.S., Tucker, K.L. 2016. Associations of erythrocyte fatty acid patterns with insulin resistance. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 103(3):902-909. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.115.123604.

Interpretive Summary: Erythrocyte (red blood cell) fatty acid patterns, rather than individual fatty acids, more accurately reflect the overall dietary intake. Our objective was to derived erythrocyte fatty acid patterns for a Puerto Rican cohort and examined their association with diet and insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) in cross-sectional and prospective analyses. Five major fatty acid patterns were derived from the data, differentiated by 1) relatively high de novo lipogenesis (fatty acids and low n-6 (omega-6) fatty acids, 2) high very-long-chain saturated fatty acids, 3) high n-3 fatty acids, 4) high linoleic acid and low arachidonic acid, and 5) high trans fatty acids. The de novo lipogenesis pattern was positively correlated with dietary sugar and inversely with n-6 and monounsaturated fatty acid intakes. Only the de novo lipogenesis pattern was positively related to HOMA-IR levels, both at baseline and 2 years. These results remained consistent after the exclusion of participants with diabetes. Our findings suggest that upregulated de novo lipogenesis associated with a diet high in sugar and relatively low in unsaturated fatty acids may adversely affect insulin sensitivity in a Puerto Rican cohort.

Technical Abstract: Background: Synergistic and/or additive effects on cardiometabolic risk may be missed by examining individual fatty acids (FA). A pattern analysis may be a more useful approach. As well, it remains unclear whether erythrocyte fatty acid composition relates to insulin resistance among Hispanic/Latinos. Objectives: We derived erythrocyte FA patterns for a Puerto Rican cohort and examined their association with diet and insulin resistance in cross-sectional and prospective analyses. Methods: At baseline, principal components analysis was used to derive factor patterns using 24 erythrocyte FAs from 1157 participants of the Boston Puerto Rican Health Study (45-75 y). Dietary intake was ascertained using a validated semi-quantitative FFQ. The homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) was calculated at baseline and at 2-yr follow-up. Relations between FA patterns and HOMA-IR were analyzed in a sample of 922 participants with available data. Results: Five FA patterns were derived, differentiated by (1) relatively high de novo lipogenesis (DNL) FAs and low n-6 FAs (omega-6); (2) high very-long-chain saturated FAs; (3) high n-3 (omega-3) FAs; (4) high linoleic acid and low arachidonic acid; and (5) high trans FAs. The DNL pattern was positively correlated with sugar and inversely with n-6 and monounsaturated FA intakes. Only the DNL pattern was positively related to baseline HOMA-IR [adjusted geometric means (95% CIs) for quartiles 1and 4: 1.72 (1.58, 1.87) and 2.20 (2.02, 2.39); P-trend<0.0001]. Similar associations were observed at 2-yr, after adjusting for baseline status [quartiles 1 and 4 means (95% CIs): 1.61 (1.48, 1.76) and 1.84 (1.69, 2.00); P-trend=0.02]. These results remained consistent after excluding participants with diabetes (n=485). Conclusions: Our findings suggest that upregulated DNL, associated with a diet high in sugar and relatively low in unsaturated FAs, may adversely affect insulin sensitivity in a Hispanic/Latino cohort.