Diets rich in n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA), but low in n-6 LC-PUFA and 18:1 trans-fatty acids (TFA), may lower the risk of overweight and obesity. These fatty acids have often been investigated individually. We explored associations between global patterns in adipose tissue fatty acids and changes in anthropometry.
34 fatty acid species from adipose tissue biopsies were determined in a random sample of 1100 men and women from a Danish cohort study. We used sex-specific principal component analysis and multiple linear regression to investigate the associations of adipose tissue fatty acid patterns with changes in weight, waist circumference (WC), and WC controlled for changes in body mass index (WCBMI), adjusting for confounders.
7 principal components were extracted for each sex, explaining 77.6% and 78.3% of fatty acid variation in men and women, respectively. Fatty acid patterns with high levels of TFA tended to be positively associated with changes in weight and WC for both sexes. Patterns with high levels of n-6 LC-PUFA tended to be negatively associated with changes in weight and WC in men, and positively associated in women. Associations with patterns with high levels of n-3 LC-PUFA were dependent on the context of the rest of the fatty acid pattern.
Adipose tissue fatty acid patterns with high levels of TFA may be linked to weight gain, but patterns with high n-3 LC-PUFA did not appear to be linked to weight loss. Associations depended on characteristics of the rest of the pattern.