n-3 PUFA status in school children is associated with beneficial lipid profile, reduced physical activity and increased blood pressure in boys
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Dietary n-3 long-chain PUFA (LC-PUFA) improve dyslipidaemia and hypertension and may affect insulin resistance and adiposity. Increasing numbers of children show signs of the metabolic syndrome (MetS), but few studies have investigated the association with n-3 LC-PUFA status. We examined the relationship between fasting whole-blood EPA or DHA (w/w% of the total fatty acids, FA%) and markers of the MetS (anthropometry, blood pressure, plasma lipids and glucose homeostasis) cross-sectionally in seventy-three 8-11-year-old Danish children from the OPUS School Meal Pilot Study (OPUS is an acronym of the project 'Optimal well-being, development and health for Danish children through a healthy New Nordic Diet' and is supported by a grant from the Nordea Foundation). Also, we explored the potential mediating effects of physical activity and energy intake. Girls had higher body fat percentage (BF%), diastolic blood pressure, heart rate, plasma TAG, insulin, homeostasis model assessment-insulin resistance and glycosylated Hb than boys. Sexes did not differ in fish or macronutrient intake or whole-blood fatty acids. After adjustment for sex, age and total whole-blood fatty acid concentration, BF% and HDL: TAG increased with whole-blood EPA (beta > 0.25, P < 0.05), and HDL increased 0.35 (SEM 0.13) mmol/l per FA% EPA increase (beta = 0.30, P = 0.008). Unexpectedly, DHA was positively associated with mean arterial pressure in boys (6.3 (SEM 1.7) mmHg/FA% DHA increase, beta = 0.62, P = 0.001) and reduced physical activity in both sexes (244 (SEM 19) counts/min per FA%, beta = 20.22, P = 0.024). The associations with blood pressure and HDL remained after adjustment for physical activity, BF% and energy intake. The present study confirmed the beneficial association between n-3 LC-PUFA status and lipid profile seen in adults, but showed unexpected relationships with physical activity, BF% and blood pressure. This is the third time we have observed such tendencies in Danish children.
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Camilla T. Damsgaard, Ken Stark, Mads F. Hjorth, Anja Biltoft-Jensen, Arne Astrup, Kim F. Michaelsen, Lotte Lauritzen (2013). n-3 PUFA status in school children is associated with beneficial lipid profile, reduced physical activity and increased blood pressure in boys. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/12641