Monday, August 24, 2015
Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are an integral part of cell membranes and vital organs. Commonly found in tree nuts, seeds and fatty fish, most of us do not get enough of these fatty acids, which play important roles physiologically. A recent study which found that children consuming more PUFAs and recording a better PUFA to saturated fatty acids (SFAs) ratio had more lean body mass, lower percent body fat, and less intra-abdominal fat.
This study looked at racially diverse children, aged 7 to 12 years, from European American, African American and Hispanic American ancestry. The results of the study were published in The Journal of Nutrition.
With parental supervision, each child provided two separate self-reports of their 24-hour dietary intakes. Dual energy x-ray absorptiometry and computed tomography scans were used to map a child’s body composition and abdominal fat distribution. Children recording a better PUFA: SFA ratio, were leaner with less body fat and less abdominal obesity.
Talking about the study results, the lead researcher Michelle Cardel said, “Our data suggests that consumption of PUFAs is associated with improved body composition in diverse groups of children. It's important to note, however, that this study was cross-sectional and no causation can be concluded. Randomised experiments are needed to confirm these findings."
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