Special Issue "Dietary Fat and Human Health"

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 June 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Andreu Palou
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Guest Editor
Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Nutrition and Biotechnology (LBNB), Universitat de les Illes Balears (UIB) & Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red sobre Obesidad y Nutrición (CIBERobn), Campus UIB (building Mateu Orfila). Carretera de Valldemossa km 7,5, Palma de Mallorca 07122, Spain
Interests: molecular biology, cell biology, gene regulation and cell signalling, leptin, metabolic programming, thermogenesis, browning, peripheral blood mononuclear cells, health biomarkers, nutrigenomics, energy metabolism, personalized nutrition, functional foods
Dr. Barbara Reynes
E-Mail
Guest Editor
Univ Illes Balears, Lab Mol Biol Nutr & Biotechnol, Palma De Mallorca, Spain
Dr. Mariona Palou
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Nutrition and Biotechnology, University of the Balearic Islands (UIB); Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria Illes Balears (IdISBa); CIBER de Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición (CIBERobn), Palma de Mallorca, Spain
Interests: perinatal programming; obesity; nutrigenomics; breast milk; leptin
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The intake of hyperlipidic diets has experienced an important increase in developed societies, raising the risk of developing obesity and related metabolic disorders. In fact, fat-rich diet-feeding may be associated with hepatic steatosis, cardiovascular diseases, and type II diabetes, as well as contributing to an increased susceptibility to cognitive diseases, such as Alzheimer’s. More and more studies appear to reveal new metabolic alterations related to hyperlipidic diet intake, triggered by different molecular mechanisms, which are not fully understood. On the other hand, the next challenge for the scientific community is to find new, early, and easily obtainable dietary biomarkers in humans, in order to detect the detrimental effects of fat-rich diet-eating before the development of the metabolic alterations associated. Indeed, metabolic diseases frequently occurr silently, without apparent symptoms, as happens with the thin-outside-fat-inside phenotype, characterized by lean IMC and metabolic alteration. In addition, not all dietary fats lead to the same outcome, since monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids have been described to improve some important metabolic parameters such as cholesterol. In this sense, human genetics can determine not only our metabolic response to fat-rich diets but also to the type of fat ingested, which would allow one to design personalized-preventing strategies against obesity and related diseases associated with fat intake.

Prof. Andreu Palou
Dr. Barbara Reynes
Dr. Mariona Palou
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • Biomarkers
  • fat-rich diets
  • genetics
  • metabolic alterations
  • obesity
  • type of fat

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Genome-Wide Association Study for Serum Omega-3 and Omega-6 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids: Exploratory Analysis of the Sex-Specific Effects and Dietary Modulation in Mediterranean Subjects with Metabolic Syndrome
Nutrients 2020, 12(2), 310; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12020310 - 24 Jan 2020
Abstract
Many early studies presented beneficial effects of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) on cardiovascular risk factors and disease. However, results from recent meta-analyses indicate that this effect would be very low or nil. One of the factors that may contribute to the inconsistency of [...] Read more.
Many early studies presented beneficial effects of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) on cardiovascular risk factors and disease. However, results from recent meta-analyses indicate that this effect would be very low or nil. One of the factors that may contribute to the inconsistency of the results is that, in most studies, genetic factors have not been taken into consideration. It is known that fatty acid desaturase (FADS) gene cluster in chromosome 11 is a very important determinant of plasma PUFA, and that the prevalence of the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) varies greatly between populations and may constitute a bias in meta-analyses. Previous genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have been carried out in other populations and none of them have investigated sex and Mediterranean dietary pattern interactions at the genome-wide level. Our aims were to undertake a GWAS to discover the genes most associated with serum PUFA concentrations (omega-3, omega-6, and some fatty acids) in a scarcely studied Mediterranean population with metabolic syndrome, and to explore sex and adherence to Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) interactions at the genome-wide level. Serum PUFA were determined by NMR spectroscopy. We found strong robust associations between various SNPs in the FADS cluster and omega-3 concentrations (top-ranked in the adjusted model: FADS1-rs174547, p = 3.34 × 10−14; FADS1-rs174550, p = 5.35 × 10−14; FADS2-rs1535, p = 5.85 × 10−14; FADS1-rs174546, p = 6.72 × 10−14; FADS2-rs174546, p = 9.75 × 10−14; FADS2- rs174576, p = 1.17 × 10−13; FADS2-rs174577, p = 1.12 × 10−12, among others). We also detected a genome-wide significant association with other genes in chromosome 11: MYRF (myelin regulatory factor)-rs174535, p = 1.49 × 10−12; TMEM258 (transmembrane protein 258)-rs102275, p = 2.43 × 10−12; FEN1 (flap structure-specific endonuclease 1)-rs174538, p = 1.96 × 10−11). Similar genome-wide statistically significant results were found for docosahexaenoic fatty acid (DHA). However, no such associations were detected for omega-6 PUFAs or linoleic acid (LA). For total PUFA, we observed a consistent gene*sex interaction with the DNTTIP2 (deoxynucleotidyl transferase terminal interacting protein 2)-rs3747965 p = 1.36 × 10−8. For adherence to MedDiet, we obtained a relevant interaction with the ME1 (malic enzyme 1) gene (a gene strongly regulated by fat) in determining serum omega-3. The top-ranked SNP for this interaction was ME1-rs3798890 (p = 2.15 × 10−7). In the regional-wide association study, specifically focused on the FADS1/FASD2/FADS3 and ELOVL (fatty acid elongase) 2/ELOVL 5 regions, we detected several statistically significant associations at p < 0.05. In conclusion, our results confirm a robust role of the FADS cluster on serum PUFA in this population, but the associations vary depending on the PUFA. Moreover, the detection of some sex and diet interactions underlines the need for these associations/interactions to be studied in all specific populations so as to better understand the complex metabolism of PUFA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Fat and Human Health)
Open AccessArticle
Breast Milk Supply of MicroRNA Associated with Leptin and Adiponectin Is Affected by Maternal Overweight/Obesity and Influences Infancy BMI
Nutrients 2019, 11(11), 2589; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11112589 - 28 Oct 2019
Abstract
Breast milk constitutes a dietary source of leptin, adiponectin and microRNAs (miRNAs) for newborns. Expression of miRNAs previously associated with maternal obesity, leptin or adiponectin function were assessed and their impact on infant weight analyzed. Milk samples were collected (at month 1, 2, [...] Read more.
Breast milk constitutes a dietary source of leptin, adiponectin and microRNAs (miRNAs) for newborns. Expression of miRNAs previously associated with maternal obesity, leptin or adiponectin function were assessed and their impact on infant weight analyzed. Milk samples were collected (at month 1, 2, and 3) from a cohort of 59 healthy lactating mothers (38 normal-weight and 21 overweight/obese (BMI ≥ 25)), and infant growth was followed up to 2 years of age. Thirteen miRNAs, leptin and adiponectin were determined in milk. Leptin, adiponectin and miRNA showed a decrease over time of lactation in normal-weight mothers that was altered in overweight/obesity. Furthermore, negative correlations were observed in normal-weight mothers between the expression of miRNAs in milk and the concentration of leptin or adiponectin, but were absent in overweight/obesity. Moreover, miRNAs negatively correlated with infant BMI only in normal-weight mothers (miR-103, miR-17, miR-181a, miR-222, miR-let7c and miR-146b). Interestingly, target genes of milk miRNAs differently regulated in overweight/obesity could be related to neurodevelopmental processes. In conclusion, a set of miRNAs present in breast milk, in close conjunction with leptin and adiponectin, are natural bioactive compounds with the potential to modulate infant growth and brain development, an interplay that is disturbed in the case of maternal overweight/obesity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Fat and Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
A Functional Virgin Olive Oil Enriched with Olive Oil and Thyme Phenolic Compounds Improves the Expression of Cholesterol Efflux-Related Genes: A Randomized, Crossover, Controlled Trial
Nutrients 2019, 11(8), 1732; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11081732 - 26 Jul 2019
Abstract
The consumption of antioxidant-rich foods such as virgin olive oil (VOO) promotes high-density lipoprotein (HDL) anti-atherogenic capacities. Intake of functional VOOs (enriched with olive/thyme phenolic compounds (PCs)) also improves HDL functions, but the gene expression changes behind these benefits are not fully understood. [...] Read more.
The consumption of antioxidant-rich foods such as virgin olive oil (VOO) promotes high-density lipoprotein (HDL) anti-atherogenic capacities. Intake of functional VOOs (enriched with olive/thyme phenolic compounds (PCs)) also improves HDL functions, but the gene expression changes behind these benefits are not fully understood. Our aim was to determine whether these functional VOOs could enhance the expression of cholesterol efflux-related genes. In a randomized, double-blind, crossover, controlled trial, 22 hypercholesterolemic subjects ingested for three weeks 25 mL/day of: (1) a functional VOO enriched with olive oil PCs (500 mg/kg); (2) a functional VOO enriched with olive oil (250 mg/kg) and thyme PCs (250 mg/kg; FVOOT), and; (3) a natural VOO (olive oil PCs: 80 mg/kg, control intervention). We assessed whether these interventions improved the expression of cholesterol efflux-related genes in peripheral blood mononuclear cells by quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reactions. The FVOOT intervention upregulated the expression of CYP27A1 (p = 0.041 and p = 0.053, versus baseline and the control intervention, respectively), CAV1 (p = 0.070, versus the control intervention), and LXRβ, RXRα, and PPARβ/δ (p = 0.005, p = 0.005, and p = 0.038, respectively, relative to the baseline). The consumption of a functional VOO enriched with olive oil and thyme PCs enhanced the expression of key cholesterol efflux regulators, such as CYP27A1 and nuclear receptor-related genes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Fat and Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Plasma Phospholipid Fatty Acids and Coronary Heart Disease Risk: A Matched Case-Control Study within the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study
Nutrients 2019, 11(7), 1672; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11071672 - 21 Jul 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Background and Aims: The association of fatty acids with coronary heart disease (CHD) has been examined, mainly through dietary measurements, and has generated inconsistent results due to measurement error. Large observational studies and randomized controlled trials have shown that plasma phospholipid fatty acids [...] Read more.
Background and Aims: The association of fatty acids with coronary heart disease (CHD) has been examined, mainly through dietary measurements, and has generated inconsistent results due to measurement error. Large observational studies and randomized controlled trials have shown that plasma phospholipid fatty acids (PL-FA), especially those less likely to be endogenously synthesized, are good biomarkers of dietary fatty acids. Thus, PL-FA profiles may better predict CHD risk with less measurement error. Methods: We performed a matched case-control study of 2428 postmenopausal women nested in the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study. Plasma PL-FA were measured using gas chromatography and expressed as molar percentage (moL %). Multivariable conditional logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios (95% CIs) for CHD associated with 1 moL % change in PL-FA. Results: Higher plasma PL long-chain saturated fatty acids (SFA) were associated with increased CHD risk, while higher n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) were associated with decreased risk. No significant associations were observed for very-long-chain SFA, monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), PUFA n-6 or trans fatty acids (TFA). Substituting 1 moL % PUFA n-6 or TFA with an equivalent proportion of PUFA n-3 were associated with lower CHD risk. Conclusions: Higher plasma PL long-chain SFA and lower PUFA n-3 were associated with increased CHD risk. A change in diet by limiting foods that are associated with plasma PL long-chain SFA and TFA while enhancing foods high in PUFA n-3 may be beneficial in CHD among postmenopausal women. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Fat and Human Health)
Open AccessArticle
Exercise Alleviates Cognitive Functions by Enhancing Hippocampal Insulin Signaling and Neuroplasticity in High-Fat Diet-Induced Obesity
Nutrients 2019, 11(7), 1603; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11071603 - 15 Jul 2019
Abstract
Obesity, caused by a high-fat diet (HFD), leads to insulin resistance, which is a precursor of diabetes and a risk factor for impaired cognitive function, dementia, and brain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Physical exercise has positive effects on obesity and brain functions. [...] Read more.
Obesity, caused by a high-fat diet (HFD), leads to insulin resistance, which is a precursor of diabetes and a risk factor for impaired cognitive function, dementia, and brain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Physical exercise has positive effects on obesity and brain functions. We investigated whether the decline in cognitive function caused by a HFD could be improved through exercise by examining insulin signaling pathways and neuroplasticity in the hippocampus. Four-week-old C57BL/6 male mice were fed a HFD or a regular diet for 20 weeks, followed by 12 weeks of treadmill exercise. To ascertain the effects of treadmill exercise on impaired cognitive function caused by obesity, the present study implemented behavioral testing (Morris water maze, step-down). Moreover, insulin-signaling and neuroplasticity were measured in the hippocampus and dentate gyrus. Our results demonstrated that HFD-fed obesity-induced insulin resistance was improved by exercise. In addition, the HFD group showed a decrease in insulin signaling and neuroplasticity in the hippocampus and the dentate gyrus and increased cognitive function impairment, which were reversed by physical exercise. Overall, our findings indicate that physical exercise may act as a non-pharmacologic method that protects against cognitive dysfunction caused by obesity by improving hippocampal insulin signaling and neuroplasticity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Fat and Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Potential Biomarkers for Fat from Dairy and Fish and Their Association with Cardiovascular Risk Factors: Cross-sectional Data from the LifeLines Biobank and Cohort Study
Nutrients 2019, 11(5), 1099; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11051099 - 17 May 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Dairy fat intake, reflected by the biomarkers C14:0, C15:0, C17:0, trans-C16:1 (n-7), trans-C18:1 (n-7) and CLA, may have beneficial effects on cardiovascular health. It has, however, been questioned whether this association is genuine, since C15:0 and C17:0 are also [...] Read more.
Dairy fat intake, reflected by the biomarkers C14:0, C15:0, C17:0, trans-C16:1 (n-7), trans-C18:1 (n-7) and CLA, may have beneficial effects on cardiovascular health. It has, however, been questioned whether this association is genuine, since C15:0 and C17:0 are also biomarkers from fish. We investigated whether the above biomarkers are reliable markers for dairy fat intake in 864 healthy subjects. Subsequently, we explored the association between these biomarkers and cardiovascular risk factors. Intakes of dairy and fish were determined by Food Frequency Questionnaires FFQs. Fatty acids were analyzed in plasma triglycerides (TG) and phospholipids (PL). Median intakes of dairy and fish fat were 12.3 (8.4–17.4) g/day and 1.14 (0.53–1.75) g/day. All fatty acids, except TG C17:0, were associated with dairy fat (std.β range TG: 0.12 for C14:0 till 0.25 for C15:0 and Trans-C18:1 (n-7); and std.β range PL: 0.12 for C17:0 and Trans-C16:1 (n-7) till 0.24 for Trans-C18:1 (n-7) and CLA; p < 0.001). TG C17:0 was associated with fish fat (std.β = 0.08; p = 0.03), whereas PL C17:0 was not. Associations remained after adjustment for fish/dairy fat intake. Strongest inverse associations with biological variables were found with PL C17:0 and Trans-C18:1 (n-7) (Std.βs: waist circumference: −0.18, p < 0.001 and −0.10, p < 0.05; BMI: −0.17, p < 0.001, −0.11, p < 0.01; glucose: −0.10, p <0.01 and −0.08, p <0.05; high sensitive C-reactive protein (hs-CRP): −0.22, p < 0.001 and −0.16, p < 0.01; uric acid: −0.27, p < 0.001 and −0.24, p < 0.001). In conclusion, fatty acid biomarkers, except plasma TG C17:0, were associated with dairy fat intake, independent of fish fat intake. PL C17:0 and trans-C18:1 (n-7) were inversely associated with adiposity, diabetes, inflammation and uric acid. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Fat and Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Dietary Incorporation of Linseed Alone or Together with Tomato-Red Pepper Mix on Laying Hens’ Egg Yolk Fatty Acids Profile and Health Lipid Indexes
Nutrients 2019, 11(4), 813; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11040813 - 10 Apr 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
This study evaluated the effect of linseed incorporation in laying hens’ feed (alone or along with a tomato-red pepper mix) on laying hens’ egg yolk fatty acids profile, as well as on their atherogenic (IA) and thrombogenic (IT) health lipid indexes, and the [...] Read more.
This study evaluated the effect of linseed incorporation in laying hens’ feed (alone or along with a tomato-red pepper mix) on laying hens’ egg yolk fatty acids profile, as well as on their atherogenic (IA) and thrombogenic (IT) health lipid indexes, and the ratio between the hypocholesterolemic and hypercholesterolemic fatty acids (HH). Sixty 27 weeks-old Novogen White laying hens were divided into three groups and given 100 g/hen/day of a standard diet (Control, C) containing 4.5% of ground linseed (Linseed diet, L), containing 1% of dried tomato paste and 1% sweet red pepper (Lineseeds-Tomato-Pepper, LTP). The linseed dietary inclusion significantly reduced the egg yolk content of palmitic acid from 25.41% (C) to 23.43% (L) and that of stearic acid from 14.75% (C) to 12.52% (L). Feeding 4.5% ground linseed did not affect the egg yolk content of α-Linolenic acid but significantly increased the egg yolk concentration of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) from 0.011% (C) to 0.047% (L) and that of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) from 1.94% (C) to 2.73% (L). The IA and the HH were not affected (p > 0.05) by the dietary addition of linseed, whereas the IT decreased (p < 0.05) from 1.16 (C) to 0.86 (L). Adding tomato-sweet red pepper mix to the linseed-supplemented feed did not affect the measured parameters as compared to the linseed dietary treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Fat and Human Health)
Open AccessArticle
Insulin Controls Triacylglycerol Synthesis through Control of Glycerol Metabolism and Despite Increased Lipogenesis
Nutrients 2019, 11(3), 513; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11030513 - 28 Feb 2019
Abstract
Under normoxic conditions, adipocytes in primary culture convert huge amounts of glucose to lactate and glycerol. This “wasting” of glucose may help to diminish hyperglycemia. Given the importance of insulin in the metabolism, we have studied how it affects adipocyte response to varying [...] Read more.
Under normoxic conditions, adipocytes in primary culture convert huge amounts of glucose to lactate and glycerol. This “wasting” of glucose may help to diminish hyperglycemia. Given the importance of insulin in the metabolism, we have studied how it affects adipocyte response to varying glucose levels, and whether the high basal conversion of glucose to 3-carbon fragments is affected by insulin. Rat fat cells were incubated for 24 h in the presence or absence of 175 nM insulin and 3.5, 7, or 14 mM glucose; half of the wells contained 14C-glucose. We analyzed glucose label fate, medium metabolites, and the expression of key genes controlling glucose and lipid metabolism. Insulin increased both glucose uptake and the flow of carbon through glycolysis and lipogenesis. Lactate excretion was related to medium glucose levels, which agrees with the purported role of disposing excess (circulating) glucose. When medium glucose was low, most basal glycerol came from lipolysis, but when glucose was high, release of glycerol via breakup of glycerol-3P was predominant. Although insulin promotes lipogenesis, it also limited the synthesis of glycerol-3P from glucose and its incorporation into acyl-glycerols. We assume that this is a mechanism of adipose tissue defense to avoid crippling fat accumulation which has not yet been described. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Fat and Human Health)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Relationship between Changes in Microbiota and Liver Steatosis Induced by High-Fat Feeding—A Review of Rodent Models
Nutrients 2019, 11(9), 2156; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11092156 - 09 Sep 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Several studies have observed that gut microbiota can play a critical role in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) development. The gut microbiota is influenced by different environmental factors, which include diet. The aim of the present review is to [...] Read more.
Several studies have observed that gut microbiota can play a critical role in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) development. The gut microbiota is influenced by different environmental factors, which include diet. The aim of the present review is to summarize the information provided in the literature concerning the impact of changes in gut microbiota on the effects which dietary fat has on liver steatosis in rodent models. Most studies in which high-fat feeding has induced steatosis have reported reduced microbiota diversity, regardless of the percentage of energy provided by fat. At the phylum level, an increase in Firmicutes and a reduction in Bacteroidetes is commonly found, although widely diverging results have been described at class, order, family, and genus levels, likely due to differences in experimental design. Unfortunately, this fact makes it difficult to reach clear conclusions concerning the specific microbiota patterns associated with this feeding pattern. With regard to the relationship between high-fat feeding-induced changes in liver and microbiota composition, although several mechanisms such as alteration of gut integrity and increased permeability, inflammation, and metabolite production have been proposed, more scientific evidence is needed to address this issue and thus further studies are needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Fat and Human Health)
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Open AccessReview
Changes in Plasma Free Fatty Acids Associated with Type-2 Diabetes
Nutrients 2019, 11(9), 2022; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11092022 - 28 Aug 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is associated with increased total plasma free fatty acid (FFA) concentrations and an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease. The exact mechanisms by which the plasma FFA profile of subjects with T2DM changes is unclear, but it is thought [...] Read more.
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is associated with increased total plasma free fatty acid (FFA) concentrations and an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease. The exact mechanisms by which the plasma FFA profile of subjects with T2DM changes is unclear, but it is thought that dietary fats and changes to lipid metabolism are likely to contribute. Therefore, establishing the changes in concentrations of specific FFAs in an individual’s plasma is important. Each type of FFA has different effects on physiological processes, including the regulation of lipolysis and lipogenesis in adipose tissue, inflammation, endocrine signalling and the composition and properties of cellular membranes. Alterations in such processes due to altered plasma FFA concentrations/profiles can potentially result in the development of insulin resistance and coagulatory defects. Finally, fibrates and statins, lipid-regulating drugs prescribed to subjects with T2DM, are also thought to exert part of their beneficial effects by impacting on plasma FFA concentrations. Thus, it is also interesting to consider their effects on the concentration of FFAs in plasma. Collectively, we review how FFAs are altered in T2DM and explore the likely downstream physiological and pathological implications of such changes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Fat and Human Health)
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Open AccessReview
Omega-3 Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids, EPA and DHA: Bridging the Gap between Supply and Demand
Nutrients 2019, 11(1), 89; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11010089 - 04 Jan 2019
Cited by 20
Abstract
The omega-3 (n-3) long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA), eicosapentaenoic (EPA, 20:5n-3) and docosahexaenoic (DHA, 22:6n-3) acids, are well accepted as being essential components of a healthy, balanced diet, having beneficial effects on development and in mitigating a range of pathological conditions. However, their [...] Read more.
The omega-3 (n-3) long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA), eicosapentaenoic (EPA, 20:5n-3) and docosahexaenoic (DHA, 22:6n-3) acids, are well accepted as being essential components of a healthy, balanced diet, having beneficial effects on development and in mitigating a range of pathological conditions. However, their global supply from all the traditional sources of these nutrients is insufficient to satisfy human nutritional requirements. For two decades there has been considerable research carried out into all possible alternatives to the main sources of n-3 LC-PUFA, marine fish oil and fishmeal, driven largely by the aquaculture sector, as both the major user and provider of EPA and DHA. In the last few years these efforts have focused increasingly on the development of entirely new supplies of n-3 LC-PUFA produced de novo. Recently, this has resulted in various new sources of EPA and/or DHA that are already available or likely to available in the near future. In this short review, we briefly summaries the current gap between supply and demand of EPA and DHA for human requirements, the role of aquaculture in providing n-3 LC-PUFA to human consumers, the range of potential novel sources, and suggest how these new products could be used effectively. We conclude that all the new sources have potentially important roles to play in increasing the supply of n-3 LC-PUFA so that they are available more widely and in higher concentrations providing more options and opportunities for human consumers to obtain sufficient EPA and DHA to support more healthy, balanced diets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Fat and Human Health)
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