News article

Fatty acid composition in blood reflects quality of dietary carbohydrates in children

Posted:  Friday, April 11, 2014

Are fatty foods important for a balanced diet?

Research studies show the concentration and composition of fatty acids the blood of a child reflects the quality of the dietary carbohydrates within the child. Not only this, research also shows that the composition of fatty acids also aids in providing a biomarker for the dietary fat quality in the child. Therefore a higher amount of oleic acid was seen in the blood of children who consumed more of candies and less of grains that are rich in fibres. Studies that went on earlier were restricted to the level and quality of fatty acid with dietary fat in the blood. For the first time when plasma fatty acids and dietary carbohydrates and its quality were studied, the research had interesting findings.

How consumption pattern affects child health

It is important to understand that besides fatty acids or one particular nutrient, the body needs everything in a balanced way. Now children who have been feeding onto more of candies have been reported to have higher oleic acids in their blood because they are probably consuming equal amounts of saturated fats too. Now as we all understand that saturated acids have a very direct adverse effect to health and the concentration of saturated fats in the body is directly proportional to the rise of oleic acid in blood. Also delta-9 desaturase found in candies, increase in concentration within the liver when children consume a lot of candies. The delta-9-desaturase is basically an enzyme which is known to catalyze the reactions of making monounsaturated fatty acids from the saturated fatty acids. Therefore it prevents the saturated fatty acids to stack up within the liver and at the same time accelerated the excretion of fatty acids to the blood stream. Therefore in such a case when the liver is loaded with saturated fatty acids, it decreases the rate of lipid metabolism causing obesity.

Importance of a balanced diet:

Fatty acid foods are extremely important for the body. But at the same time, a balanced diet demands the incorporation of oils, proteins, fibres, roughage, water, carbohydrates etc. A higher amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids, linoleic acid and alfa-linolenic fatty acid in blood is a result of 60% intake of oils, margarines and other fat. However, consumption of vegetable oil rather than margarine checks the quantity of saturated fatty acids with monounsaturated fatty acids, which proves to be beneficial to health. Besides a balanced diet that contains all the nutrients in the mentioned level, it is also important for children to exercise so that the calories consumed can be burnt up causing a healthy system. The Physical Activity and Nutrition in Children (PANIC) Study made in Finland found out that in the city of Kuopio with children population of 512 between the age limits of 6-8, a diet and exercise study was made. The samples of blood accessed after a four day trial showed that when the intake of fatty acids are high, the quality of dietary carbohydrates in the child is good and healthy. This was recorded using gas chromatograph.