Background: Visceral fat accumulation in overweight status has been resulted in changes of fatty acid profiles. The fatty acids profiles can be altered by fatty acid desaturase; the activity of which is highly associated with obesity and other metabolic diseases. We hypothesized that fatty acid composition, desaturase activity, and accumulation of visceral fat are interrelated. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate the association between increased visceral fat area and alterations in plasma fatty acid profile in overweight subjects with different amounts of visceral fat. Methods: Healthy overweight subjects (25.0 kg/m2 ≤ BMI < 30 kg/m2, n=232) were classified into lower (T1), middle (T2), and upper tertiles (T3) according to L4 visceral fat area (T1: <71.8 cm2, T2: 71.8 cm2-99.6 cm2, T3: >99.6 cm2). Results: The T3 group showed higher amounts of cis-10-heptadecenoic acid and activity of C16 Δ9-desaturase and C18 Δ9-desaturase and lower activity of Δ5-desaturase than the T1 group. Additionally, the T3 group showed higher amounts of saturated fatty acids, myristic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid, monounsaturated fatty acids, palmitoleic acid, oleic acid, n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, linoleic acid, dihomo-γ-linolenic acid, arachidonic acid, n-3 PUFAs, and docosapentaenoic acid than the T1 and T2 groups. Conclusions: This study indicates that greater than a certain area (>99.6 cm2) of visceral fat is needed to observe altered levels of individual fatty acid species and desaturase activities. The results suggest that increased activity of C16 Δ9-desaturase and C18 Δ9-desaturase in parallel with decreased Δ5-desaturase activity may be a causative factor in disturbed fatty acid metabolism.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was funded by the Bio-Synergy Research Project [NRF-2012M3A9C4048762]; and the Mid-Career Researcher Program [NRF-2016R1A2B4011662] of the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning through the National Research Foundation, Republic of Korea.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical