To clarify the influences of age on dietary intakes and plasma concentrations of fatty acids (FAs) in Japanese female dietitians.
In autumn 1996, we estimated dietary FA intakes based on 7 day weighed diet records and analyzed plasma FA concentrations in 79 healthy Japanese female dietitians, and investigated their relationships with age, dividing into three age groups (young (32-42 y), middle-aged (43-50 y) and elderly (51-66 y)).
Dietary intakes of total FA, saturated FAs, monounsaturated FAs, n-3 polyunsaturated FAs (PUFAs) and alpha-linolenic acid (18:3n-3) were significantly highest in the middle-aged group, and lowest in the elderly. Similar trends were observed for dietary intakes of n-6 PUFAs and linoleic acid (18:2n-6), but there were no differences with regard to eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA; 20:5n-3), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; 22:6n-3) and n-3 highly unsaturated FAs (HUFAs=EPA+22:5n-3+DHA). On the other hand, plasma concentrations of all FAs except for arachidonic acid (20:4n-6) demonstrated positive correlations with age. Moreover, plasma concentrations of EPA in all age groups, DHA in the elderly and n-3 HUFAs in the middle-aged and the elderly were all positively correlated with dietary intakes.
We should take into account the influence of age on dietary habit and lipid metabolism when interpreting associations between dietary FA intakes and plasma FA concentrations.