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Preliminary evaluation of a differential effect of an α-linolenate-rich supplement on ketogenesis and plasma ω-3 fatty acids in young and older adults.

Hennebelle, Marie; Courchesne-Loyer, Alexandre; St-Pierre, Valérie; Vandenberghe, Camille; Castellano, Christian-Alexandre; Fortier, Mélanie; Tessier, Daniel; Cunnane, Stephen C.
Nutrition ; 32(11-12): 1211-6, 2016.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27261061


The aim of the present study was to compare the effects of an α-linolenic acid-rich supplement (ALA-RS) on the ketogenic response and plasma long-chain ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid in healthy young adults and older individuals.


Ten young (25 ± 0.9 y) and 10 older adults (73.1 ± 2.2 y) consumed a flaxseed oil supplement providing 2 g/d of ALA for 4 wk. Plasma ketones, nonesterified fatty acids (NEFA), triacylglycerols, glucose, and insulin were measured over 6 h, before and after supplementation. Total body fat mass was assessed before and after the ALA-RS.


The ALA-RS did not significantly modify fasting ketones but postprandial production of ß-hydroxybutyrate was increased by 26% (P = 0.037) only in the young adult group. Fasting plasma ketones were positively correlated to fasting plasma NEFA (P < 0.01) in both groups. However, the relation was shifted to the right in the older group, suggesting that older adults needed higher plasma NEFA levels to achieve the same ketone amounts as young adults. At baseline, the older group had 47% higher total plasma fatty acids than the young group (P = 0.007). After the ALA-RS, plasma ALA doubled in both groups (P < 0.01), an effect that was associated in the older group with a 40% higher eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA; P = 0.004), but no difference in docosahexaenoic acid. The postsupplementation increase in plasma ALA correlated positively with percent total body fat, especially in the older group (r(2) = 0.77; P = 0.0016).


In young adults, ALA-RS mildly stimulated postprandial ketogenesis, whereas in the older group, it favored increased plasma ALA and EPA.