The Dietary {alpha}-Linolenic Acid to Linoleic Acid Ratio Does Not Affect the Serum Lipoprotein Profile in Humans

P.L.L. Goyens, R.P. Mensink*

*Corresponding author for this work

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alpha-Linolenic acid [ALA, 18:3(n-3)] and linoleic acid [LA, 18:2(n-6)] have comparable effects on serum lipid and lipoprotein concentrations, but their effects on lipoprotein subclass distributions and particle sizes are unknown. It is also not known whether these effects are changed by the ALA:LA ratio in the diet. To address these questions, healthy subjects (n = 54) consumed a control diet providing 7% of energy (En%) as LA and 0.4 En% as ALA during a 4-wk run-in period. For the following 6 wk of intervention, each diet was consumed by 18 subjects: the control diet, a low-LA diet (3 En% LA, 0.4 En% ALA), or a high-ALA diet (7 En% LA, 1.1 En% ALA). The ALA:LA ratio for the control diet was 1:19 and was 1:7 for the other 2 diets. Compared with the control group, LDL cholesterol decreased significantly in the ALA group (-0.32 mmol/L, P = 0.024), as did total cholesterol, apolipoprotein (apo) B, and the total:HDL cholesterol ratio. None of the dietary interventions affected HDL cholesterol, apo A-1, or triacylglycerol concentrations. The decrease in total VLDL particle concentrations in the low-LA group was due mainly to a decrease in medium VLDL (-16 nmol/L, P = 0.018) and in the high-ALA group to a decrease in small VLDL (-14 nmol/L, P = 0.044). We conclude that the ALA:LA ratio does not affect the serum lipoprotein profile. Compared with the control and LA diets, ALA lowered LDL cholesterol concentrations, possibly caused by the decrease in small VLDL
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2799-2804
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2005

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