What is it about?

We have investigated the role of a broader fatty acids profile and estimated desaturase activities in both plasma phospholipids and triglycerides fraction in relation to the metabolic syndrome in a general population. As previous studies have only incorporated few fatty acids and only in one plasma fraction.

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Why is it important?

Our results indicated the importance of monitoring individual plasma fatty acids and desaturase activities as novel modifiable biomarkers for the metabolic syndrome. Meanwhile, we demonstrated the heterogeneous effect of fatty acids from the same saturation level on the metabolic syndrome. Simply pooling individual FA into structural groups such as omega-6 PUFA, omega-3 PUFA, or total SAFA and drawing generalized conclusions about their effects on metabolic health will mislead policy makers and the public.


I have learnt a lot about fatty acids metabolic pathways and metabolic syndrome. It was a great pleasure to work with expertise from different disciplines. I hope that this results will inspire the assessments of a broader fatty acids profile in larger general or diseases populations as we definitely need more evidence from different populations, and the nutrition policy makers, nutritionist, and dieticians realize the complexity and heterogeneity of individual fatty acids within the same structural/saturation level.

Yinjie Zhu
Rijksuniversiteit Groningen

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This page is a summary of: Plasma phospholipid fatty acid profile, estimated desaturase activities and prevalence of the metabolic syndrome in a general population cohort: A cross-sectional study, Nutrition and Healthy Aging, December 2022, IOS Press, DOI: 10.3233/nha-220155.
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