Associations of alpha-linolenic acid and linoleic acid with risk factors for coronary heart disease

W.J.E. Bemelmans, F.A.J. Muskiet, E.J.M. Feskens, F.H.M. de Vries, J.F. May, B. Meyboom-de Jong

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39 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Prevention of coronary heart disease (CHD) in high-risk subjects. Objective: To investigate the associations of dietary intake of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and linoleic acid (LA) as assessed by food frequency questionnaire and in the plasma cholesteryl ester (CE), with CHD risk factors. Design: Baseline data of a double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled trial. Subjects have hypercholesterolemia (6.0-8.0 mmol/l) and at least two other CHD risk factors (n=266). Results: The reported dietary ALA and LA intakes and the LA/ALA ratio were associated with the contents in the CE (r=0.37, r=0.21, and r=0.42, respectively; P<0.01). In multivariate analysis, CE ALA was inversely associated with diastolic blood pressure (r=-0.13; P<0.05) and positively with serum triacylglycerol (r=0.13; P<0.05), and CE LA was inversely associated with serum triacylglycerol (r=-0.32; P<0.01). The CE LA/ALA ratio was strongly inversely associated with CE ALA (r=-0.95; P<0.01). In the lowest quintile of CE ALA, mean dietary intake was 0.4 energyLA (1.2 g/day), 8.4 energy ␕A and an LA/ALA ratio of 21, and in the highest quintile 0.6 energyLA (1.7 g/day), 6.8 energy ␕A and 12 (ratio). In the lowest quintile of CE ALA the diastolic blood pressure was 4 mmHg lower (P trend<0.05), and the serum triacylglycerol 0.3 mmol/l higher (P trend NS) when compared with the top quintile. Conclusions: In a CHD high-risk population with LA-rich background diet, these cross-sectional data suggest that replacing LA in the diet by ALA may decrease diastolic blood pressure, and may increase serum triacylglycerol concentration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)865-871
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Publication statusPublished - 2000

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