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Endothelial vasodilatory function is related to the proportions of saturated fatty acids and alpha-linolenic acid in young men, but not in women
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences. (Akut- och intermedicin)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences. (Clinical nutrition)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences. (Akut- och internmedicin)
2003 (English)In: European Journal of Clinical Investigation, ISSN 0014-2972, E-ISSN 1365-2362, Vol. 33, no 5, 390-396 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: Fatty acid composition of serum lipids is associated with cardiovascular disease. As attenuated endothelium-dependent vasodilation (EDV) is an early event in atherosclerosis, we investigated the relationships between endothelial vasodilatory function and the proportion of serum fatty acids, reflecting dietary fat quality, in 74 healthy men and women, aged 20-30 years.

DESIGN: Endothelium-dependent vasodilation and endothelium-independent vasodilation (EIDV) was studied in the forearm during local administration of methacholine (2 and 4 micro g min-1) and nitroprusside (5 and 10 micro g min-1). Forearm blood flow was determined with venous occlusion plethysmography. An endothelial function index was calculated as the EDV/EIDV ratio.

RESULTS: The endothelial function index was inversely related to the total proportion of saturated fatty acids (r = -0.41, P < 0.05), in particular lauric and myristic acid (r = -0.37 and r = -0.36, respectively, P < 0.05 for both), and was positively related to the proportion of alpha-linolenic acid (r = 0.45, P < 0.01) in men only. Total serum nonesterified fatty acid (NEFA) concentration was not significantly related to endothelial vasodilatory function. By multiple stepwise regression analysis, including age, blood pressure, body mass index, and serum cholesterol, triglyceride and NEFA as confounders, myristic acid and alpha-linolenic acid were independent predictors of the endothelial function index in men only (r = -0.39 and r = 0.47, respectively, P < 0.01 for both).

CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that serum fatty acid composition predicts endothelial vasodilatory dysfunction independently of serum NEFA and cholesterol levels in young, healthy men in their third decade of life, whereas fatty acid composition seems to be less important in women at this age. As a result of the large number of analyses performed, these findings need to be verified by other studies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2003. Vol. 33, no 5, 390-396 p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-90410DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2362.2003.01147.xPubMedID: 12713452OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-90410DiVA: diva2:162754
Available from: 2003-05-06 Created: 2003-05-06 Last updated: 2010-10-21Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Lipids and Endothelium-Dependent Vasodilation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Lipids and Endothelium-Dependent Vasodilation
2003 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Lipider och endotelberoende vasodilatation
Abstract [en]

Impaired endothelium-dependent vasodilation (EDV) is associated with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease as well as several of its risk factors.

The aim of the present thesis was to investigate how lipids influence EDV in the vascular bed of the human forearm.

Apolipoprotein B was inversely associated with both EDV and endothelium-independent vasodilation (EIDV) in healthy subjects aged 20-69 years. HDL cholesterol was associated with the EDV to EIDV ratio (EFI). Small LDL particles and antibodies against oxidized LDL were not associated with endothelial vasodilatory function.

The EFI in young, healthy subjects was positively associated with alpha-linolenic acid proportion, but inversely associated with myristic acid in men only. Eicosapentaenoic acid was positively associated with EDV, whereas dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid was inversely associated with both EDV and EIDV in men.

Acute elevation of long-chain fatty acids with Intralipid®/heparin infusion in young, healthy subjects impaired EDV after 2 h. This impairment could be prevented by co-infusing vitamin C, diclophenac or L-arginine. Acute elevation of both medium-chain and long-chain fatty acids during Structolipid®/heparin infusion did not impair EDV.

An ordinary meal (34 E% fat) transiently attenuated EDV at 1 hour. No attenuation in EDV was observed after meals containing 20 and 3 E% fat.

These findings show that the endothelial vasodilatory function is associated with fatty acid profile in serum in the fasting state and during acute fatty acid elevation, as well as with apolipoprotein B and HDL cholesterol. Furthermore, lowering dietary fat content to 20 E% or less preserves endothelial vasodilatory function and might therefore protect against atherosclerosis.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2003. 78 p.
Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 0282-7476 ; 1263
Medicine, Atherosclerosis, endothelium, vasodilation, nitric oxide, fatty acid, meal, diet, lipoprotein, cyclooxygenase, diclophenac, L-arginine, LDL, human, Medicin
National Category
Dermatology and Venereal Diseases
Research subject
Internal Medicine
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-3424 (URN)91-554-5633-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2003-05-26, Aulan, Thoraxhuset - ingång 50, Akademiska sjukhuset, Uppsala, 09:15
Available from: 2003-05-06 Created: 2003-05-06 Last updated: 2010-10-21Bibliographically approved

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