Lipids in health and disease

Plasma n-3 and n-6 fatty acids and inflammatory markers in Chinese vegetarians.

PMID 25266321


Polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) intake favorably affects chronic inflammatory-related diseases such as cardiovascular disease; however, the relationship between the PUFA and inflammatory factors in the healthy vegetarians were not clear. We aimed to investigate the plasma fatty acids status, and its association with plasma inflammatory factors in Chinese vegetarians and omnivores. A total of 89 male vegetarians and 106 male omnivores were participated the study. Plasma concentrations of inflammatory factors were detected by ELISA, and as standard methods fatty acids were extracted and determined by chromatography. Compared with omnivores, vegetarians have significant higher interleukin-6 (IL-6), plasma n-6 PUFA, n-6/n-3, and 18:3n-3; while they have significant lower leukotriene B4 (LTB4), cyclo-oxygenase-2 (COX2) and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), 20:5n-3, 22:5n-3, 22:6n-3, and n-3 PUFA. In vegetarians, plasma 20:4n-6 was significant positively related to TNF-α. LTB4 was significantly positively related to plasma 22:6n-3, and negatively associated with n-6 PUFA. Vegetarians have higher plasma n-6 PUFA and IL-6, but lower LTB4, n-3 PUFA, 22:6n-3, COX2 and PGE2 levels. It would seem appropriate for vegetarians to increase their dietary n-3 PUFA, while reduce dietary n-6 PUFA and thus reduce the risk of chronic inflammatory-related diseases.