Effects of 1 Year Intervention with a Mediterranean Diet on Plasma Fatty Acid Composition and Metabolic Syndrome in a Population at High Cardiovascular Risk

January 1, 2014 Human Health and Nutrition Data 0 Comments

Effects of 1 Year Intervention with a Mediterranean Diet on Plasma Fatty Acid Composition and Metabolic Syndrome in a Population at High Cardiovascular Risk

Year: 2014
Authors: Perxachs, J.M. SalaVila, A. Chisaguano, M. Castellote, A.I. Estruch, R. Covas, M.I. Fito, M. et al.
Publication Name: PLoS One
Publication Details: Volume 9; Issue 3; Page e85202


Background and Aims: Metabolic syndrome (MetS) has become an important public concern due to its increasing prevalence. An altered fatty acid composition has been associated with MetS, but the Mediterranean diet has been shown to have a protective effect. The aim of the present study was to analyze the influence of a Mediterranean dietary pattern, as assessed by the biomarkers of food supplied, on the plasma fatty acid composition and its relation with MetS after 1 year of intervention. Methods: A total of 424 subjects were randomly selected from the PREDIMED randomized dietary trial after completing a 1 year intervention program. Participants aged 55 to 80 years and at high risk of cardiovascular disease were randomly assigned to three dietary interventions: Mediterranean diet supplemented with virgin olive oil or nuts, or a low fat diet.
Results: After 1 year of intervention participants in the virgin olive oil group showed significantly increased plasma concentrations of palmitic and oleic acids, but reduced proportions of margaric, stearic, and linoleic acids. In turn, subjects in the nut group showed significantly increased levels of palmitic, linoleic, and alpha linolenic acids, but reduced proportions of myristic, margaric, palmitoleic, and dihommoclinoleic acids. Increases in the biomarkers of foods supplied to the Mediterranean diet groups, i.e., oleic and alpha linolenic acids, were beneficially associated with the incidence, reversion and prevalence of MetS. No weight changes were observed among participants.
Conclusions: The nut and olive oil diets induced a fatty acid composition that has been shown to be beneficial in the face of MetS. Therefore, a Mediterranean diet rich in fats of vegetable origin may be a useful tool for the management of MetS without the need for concerns over weight gain due to its high fat content. (Authors abstract)
Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is defined as a clustering of interrelated metabolic risk factors that include dyslipidemia, hypertension, elevated fasting glucose and abdominal obesity. The condition is widespread among adults from developed countries, with a prevalence of about 20 to 30 percent, or even higher, and with further increases in prevalence predicted due to the increasing incidence of obesity, diabetes and sedentary lifestyles. During the last few decades the Mediterranean diet (MD) has gained in popularity worldwide due to its reported contribution to lower rates of morbidity (particularly CVD, certain types of cancer, and other chronic conditions) and mortality. The MD has a peculiarity of its own, a high content of total fat. This is the most distinguishing feature of the MD, with virgin olive oil (VOO) being the primary source of fat. Compliance with a diet is often assessed using dietary surveys, which are associated with substantial measurement errors, whereas biomarkers of intake are potentially independent of these errors. An objective and accurate way to monitor fat quality is to record the plasma FA composition. Considering the overall pattern of plasma FA may be a more useful measure of dietary quality than individual FA. The present study is one of the first randomized controlled trial to have assessed the effect of a Mediterranean dietary pattern on the overall plasma FA profile of individuals at high risk of CVD and its relation with MetS. Participants in the MD plus VOO group showed reduced plasma levels of MGA, SA, and LA but increased levels of PA and OA. The MD plus nuts group showed reduced concentrations of MA, MGA, POA, and DGLA, while increasing the levels of LA and ALA. Increases in individual SFA and POA correlated adversely with several metabolic risk factors. Using the biomarkers of foods supplied to the intervention groups showed that the incidence and reversion rates of MetS progressed inversely and in parallel, respectively, to increases in OA and ALA, which resulted in significant differences in the changes in prevalence of MetS across the quartiles of changes in both OA and ALA. Therefore, the beneficial effect of OO and nut consumption on the prevalence of MetS appears to be a consequence of the combination of incidence and reversion rates. There are several important aspects to consider regarding the MD followed in this study. First of all, it is highly palatable, decreases hunger, and promotes satiety, hence improving long term adherence compared to low fat energy restricted diets. Secondly, no weight gain was observed in participants with high VOO or nut consumption. (Editors comments)

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