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Higher adherence to a Mediterranean diet (MeDi) and n-3 PUFA may both contribute to decreased dementia risk, but the association between MeDi adherence and lipid status is unclear. The aim of the present study was to analyse the relationship between plasma fatty acids and MeDi adherence in French elderly community dwellers. The study population (mean age 75·9 years) consisted of 1050 subjects from Bordeaux (France) included in the Three-City cohort. Adherence to the MeDi (scored as 0–9) was computed from a FFQ and 24 h recall. The proportion of each plasma fatty acid was determined. Cross-sectional analysis of the association between plasma fatty acids and MeDi adherence was performed by multi-linear regression. After adjusting for age, sex, energy intake, physical activity, smoking status, BMI, plasma TAG and apoE-ɛ4 genotype, plasma palmitoleic acid was significantly inversely associated with MeDi adherence, whereas plasma DHA, the EPA+DHA index and total n-3 PUFA were positively associated with MeDi adherence. The n-6:n-3 PUFA, arachidonic acid (AA):EPA, AA:DHA and AA:(EPA+DHA) ratios were significantly inversely associated with MeDi adherence. Plasma EPA was positively associated with MeDi adherence only in apoE-ɛ4 non-carriers. There was no association between MeDi adherence and SFA and total MUFA. The present results suggest that the protective effect of the MeDi on cognitive functions might be mediated by higher plasma DHA and lower n-6:n-3 PUFA ratios.
Nutrigenomics is the study of how constituents of the diet interact with genes, and their products, to alter phenotype and, conversely, how genes and their products metabolise these constituents into nutrients, antinutrients, and bioactive compounds. Results from molecular and genetic epidemiological studies indicate that dietary unbalance can alter gene–nutrient interactions in ways that increase the risk of developing chronic disease. The interplay of human genetic variation and environmental factors will make identifying causative genes and nutrients a formidable, but not intractable, challenge. We provide specific recommendations for how to best meet this challenge and discuss the need for new methodologies and the use of comprehensive analyses of nutrient–genotype interactions involving large and diverse populations. The objective of the present paper is to stimulate discourse and collaboration among nutrigenomic researchers and stakeholders, a process that will lead to an increase in global health and wellness by reducing health disparities in developed and developing countries.
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