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Effect of food enriched with essential unsaturated fatty acids on serum lipid values and composition of fatty acids in serum lipid fractions in elderly subjects



Effect of food enriched with essential unsaturated fatty acids on serum lipid values and composition of fatty acids in serum lipid fractions in elderly subjects



Annales de la Nutrition et de l'Alimentation 34(4): 677-698



The optimum amount of essential unsaturated fatty acids (EFA) in the food of man in different life periods and different physiological states was discussed. According to 1977 suggestions of the FAO/WHO experts these acids should cover 10% of the total calorie value of the daily food ration of adults. A high amount of these acids in the food may exert harmful effects. The problem of the optimal requirements of humans for EFA is controversial. A 1st series of experiments were done in subjects aged 20-21 yr. Present investigations were carried out in 93 elderly subjects (aged 66-101 yr) living in identical conditions. They were divided into 2 groups: the 1st group received daily food rations enriched with EFA; the 2nd group served as control and received the usual food rations. An increase of the amount of EFA in the food was obtained, replacing a part of animal fats and all margarine of low EFA content in the diet with sunflower oil and margarine containing 40% of EFA. The experiment lasted 6 wk. In that time samples of daily food rations given to the patients, and food residues left on plates were taken several times for analysis. Throughout the experiment the subjects were interviewed about the additional intake of food to assess the actual food intake. At the beginning of the experiment, and at its end, blood samples were taken determining the levels of lipid fractions in the serum and the fatty-acid pattern in serum lipid fractions, and vitamin levels. The systolic and diastolic blood pressure was measured at the beginning of the experiment, and at its end. Administration to elderly subjects during 6 wk of food rations with EFA level increased from 3.2% kcal (7.98 g) subject (day) to 5.8 kcal (15.08 g) subject (day), decreased the serum levels of total lipids, total cholesterol, cholesterol in beta and prebeta lipoproteins, and free fatty acids and caused changes in the fatty acid patterns of serum lipid fractions. Enrichment of food rations with EFA raised the levels of these acids in serum lipids, particularly in the fraction of cholesterol esters. The level of saturated fatty acids decreased, which caused a change in the ratio of polyunsaturated to saturated (P:S) fatty acids. The optimum EFA amount in the food of the adult population evidently should cover .apprx. 6% of the total caloric value of the daily food ration. This agrees with the conclusion from the previous investigations carried out on young subjects.

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