In a study from Uppsala University, published in the American journal JAMA Cardiology, the fatty acid linoleic acid (Omega 6) in subcutaneous adipose tissue was linked to lower mortality among older men followed over a 15-year period. The new article is titled “Association of Adipose Tissue Fatty Acids with Cardiovascular and All-Cause Mortality in Elderly Men.” A high proportion of linoleic acid in adipose tissue largely reflects a high intake of various vegetable oils, as this study also demonstrated. The findings may further indicate that an excessively low intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids increases the risk of (premature) death. However, no clear correlation could be established with mortality from cardiovascular disease. This study is the largest yet conducted examining the association between specific fatty acids in adipose tissue and the intake of these fatty acids. The study is also the largest forward-looking study to have analyzed the associations between fatty acids in adipose tissue, cardiovascular disease, and mortality from all causes. The question of what type of fat food should contain has been hotly debated. According to current dietary guidelines, food should contain a relatively high proportion of unsaturated ¬– including “polyunsaturated” – fatty acids. One difficulty in dietary studies is finding a reliable method of measuring dietary intake, particularly over an extended period. Measuring the fatty acid composition of adipose tissue can therefore make a valuable contribution to our knowledge about the association between diet and disease.
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