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Fasting hepatic de novo lipogenesis is not reliably assessed using circulating fatty acid markers

Rosqvist, Fredrik, McNeil, Catriona A, Pramfalk, Camilla, Parry, Sion A, Suan Low, Wee, Cornfield, Thomas, Fielding, Barbara A and Hodson, Leanne (2019) Fasting hepatic de novo lipogenesis is not reliably assessed using circulating fatty acid markers American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 109 (2). pp. 260-268.

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Background: Observational studies often infer hepatic de novo lipogenesis (DNL) by measuring circulating fatty acid (FA) markers; however it remains to be elucidated whether these markers accurately reflect hepatic DNL.

Objective: We investigated associations between fasting hepatic DNL and proposed FA markers of DNL in subjects consuming their habitual diet.

Design: Fasting hepatic DNL was assessed using ²H2O (heavy water) in 149 non-diabetic men and women and measuring the synthesis of very low-density lipoprotein triglyceride (VLDL-TG) palmitate. FA markers of blood lipid fractions was determined by gas chromatography (GC).

Results: Neither the lipogenic index (16:0/18:2n-6) nor the SCD index (16:1n-7/16:0) in VLDL-TG were associated with isotopically assessed DNL (r=0.13, P=0.1 and r=-0.08, P=0.35, respectively). The relative abundance (mol%) of 14:0, 16:0 and 18:0 in VLDL-TG were weakly (r≤0.35) associated with DNL whereas abundance of 16:1n-7, 18:1n-7 and 18:1n-9 were not associated. When the cohort was split by median DNL, only abundance of 14:0 and 18:0 in VLDL-TG could discriminate between subjects having high (11.5%) and low (3.8%) fasting hepatic DNL. Based on a subgroup, FA markers in total plasma TG, plasma cholesteryl esters, plasma phospholipids and red blood cell phospholipids were generally not associated with DNL.

Conclusions: The usefulness of circulating FAs as markers of hepatic DNL in healthy individuals consuming their habitual diet is limited due to their inability to clearly discriminate between individuals with low and high fasting hepatic DNL.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Biosciences and Medicine
Authors :
Rosqvist, Fredrik
McNeil, Catriona A
Pramfalk, Camilla
Parry, Sion A
Suan Low, Wee
Cornfield, Thomas
Fielding, Barbara
Date : 5 February 2019
Funders : Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
DOI : 10.1093/ajcn/nqy304
Copyright Disclaimer : Copyright © American Society for Nutrition. All rights reserved 2019. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Uncontrolled Keywords : de novo lipogenesis; Fatty acids; Metabolism; Human; SCD, palmitoleic acid Triglycerides; lipogenic index; SCD; Palmitoleic acid
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 30 Oct 2018 23:03
Last Modified : 28 Oct 2019 15:06

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