Plasma phospholipid fatty acids in obese male and female mexican children
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Aim: To assess the plasma phospholipid (PL) fatty acid composition in obese Mexican children and evaluate gender differences and predisposition to health risks. Methods: This was a case-control study of 100 obese and 100 normal-weight children aged 6-12 years. BMI, waist circumference, triceps skinfold, and percentage of body fat were determined. PL fatty acids were measured by gas chromatography. Results: Compared to normal-weight children, obese children had significantly higher proportions of 18:0, 16:1n-7, 20:3n-6, saturated fatty acids (SFA), total highly unsaturated fatty acids (UFAs), and total n-3 but lower proportions of 18:1n-9, 18:2n-6, 22:5n-6, monounsaturated fatty acids, and total n-9. Obese children had significantly higher ratios of 20:3n-6/18:2n-6 and 18:3n-6 + 20:3n-6/18:2n-6, and they had lower ratios of 20:4n-6/20:3n-6 and n-6/n-3. The predictors positively associated with obesity, in decreasing association strength, were 16:1n-7, 20:3n-6, and SFA. Obese boys showed significantly higher 20:4n-6, 20:5n-3, 20:3n-6/18:2 n-6, 18:3n-6 + 20:3n-6/18:2n-6, and 20:5n-3/20:4n-6, higher UFAs, and lower 18:2n-6 and 22:6n-3/20:4n-6 compared to obese girls (p < 0.05). Conclusion: Significant alterations in the proportions of plasma PL fatty acids were found in obese children, especially in male subjects, which might place them in danger of early cardiovascular risk; however, an insulin-resistant state might be responsible for their fatty acid composition. More studies are needed since there are none in Mexican children. © 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel.