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Fatty Acids Composition of Blood Cell Membranes and Peripheral Inflammation in the PREDIMED Study: A Cross-Sectional Analysis

Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Human Nutrition Unit, IISPV, Hospital Universitari Sant Joan de Reus, Rovira i Virgili University, 43003 Reus, Spain
CIBER de Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y la Nutrición (CIBEROBN), Instituto de Salud Carlos III, 28029 Madrid, Spain
Lipid Clinic, Department of Endocrinology and Nutrition, Institut d’Investigacions Biomediques August Pi Sunyer (IDIBAPS), Hospital Clinic, University of Barcelona, 08036 Barcelona, Spain
Cardiovascular Risk and Nutrition (Regicor Study Group), Hospital del Mar Research Institute (IMIM), 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Department of Internal Medicine, Hospital Clínic, IDIBAPS August Pi i Sunyer Biomedical Research Institute, University of Barcelona, 08036 Barcelona, Spain
Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, IdiSNA, Navarra Institute for Health Research, University of Navarra, 31008 Pamplona, Spain
Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Valencia, 46010 Valencia, Spain
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Nutrients 2019, 11(3), 576;
Received: 8 February 2019 / Revised: 28 February 2019 / Accepted: 1 March 2019 / Published: 7 March 2019
PDF [252 KB, uploaded 7 March 2019]


There is limited evidence from epidemiological studies for the inflammatory or anti-inflammatory properties of fatty acids in blood cell membranes. Therefore, this study examined associations between baseline (n = 282) and 1-year (n = 143) changes in the levels of fatty acids in blood cell membranes with circulating inflammatory markers in older adults at high cardiovascular risk. The data for this cross-sectional analysis was obtained from a case-control study within the PREDIMED study. Linear regression with elastic net penalty was applied to test associations between measured fatty acids and inflammatory markers. Several fatty acids were associated with interferon-γ (IFNγ) and interleukins (ILs) IL-6, IL-8, and IL-10 at baseline and additionally also with IL-1b at 1 year. Omega-6 fatty acids were consistently positively associated with pro-inflammatory IL-6 and IL-8 at baseline. Omega-3 fatty acids including C20:5n3 and C18:3n3 were negatively associated with IFN-γ at 1 year. It is interesting to note that the cis and trans forms of C16:1n7 at 1 year were oppositely associated with the inflammatory markers. C16:1n7trans was negatively associated with IFN-γ, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, and IL-1b, whereas C16:1n7cis was positively associated with IL-1b. This study adds to the growing body of evidence suggesting potential differences in inflammatory or anti-inflammatory properties of fatty acids in blood cell membranes. View Full-Text
Keywords: inflammation; fatty acids; cell membranes inflammation; fatty acids; cell membranes
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Muralidharan, J.; Papandreou, C.; Sala-Vila, A.; Rosique-Esteban, N.; Fitó, M.; Estruch, R.; Angel Martínez-González, M.; Corella, D.; Ros, E.; Razquín, C.; Castañer, O.; Salas-Salvadó, J.; Bulló, M. Fatty Acids Composition of Blood Cell Membranes and Peripheral Inflammation in the PREDIMED Study: A Cross-Sectional Analysis. Nutrients 2019, 11, 576.

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