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Table 3 Comparison of the fatty acid composition (per cent of total fatty acids) in serum phospholipids between the Mediterranean Diet (MD) group and the Control Diet (CD) group.

From: Fat intake and composition of fatty acids in serum phospholipids in a randomized, controlled, Mediterranean dietary intervention study on patients with rheumatoid arthritis

  MD group (n = 26) CD group (n = 25) P-value*
  Time (weeks after dietary shift) Time (weeks after start of study)  
  0 3 12 0 3 12  
16:0 28.3 (23.6–31.0) 29.0 (24.6–32.2) 27.8 (25.3–31.3) 28.9 (27.2–31.7) 29.4 (27.1–32.3) 29.8 (26.6–32.1) 0.797
18:0 14.5 (13.1–15.2) 13.7 (12.2–15.3) 13.7 (12.4–15.7) 15.0 (13.2–17.1) 14.6 (13.3–16.5) 15.0 (13.3–17.0) 0.584
20:0 0.0 (0.0–0.1) 0.0 (0.0–0.2) 0.0 (0.0–0.3) 0.0 (0.0–0.2) 0.0 (0.0–0.2) 0.0 (0.0–0.2) 0.100
24:0 1.4 (1.0–2.2) 1.4 (1.0–1.9) 1.6 (1.1–2.0) 1.4 (1.0–1.6) 1.1 (0.8–1.7) 1.3 (0.8–1.8) 0.959
Total saturated fatty acids 44.0 (39.1–46.8) 44.7 (37.8–48.3) 43.9 (39.6–49.4) 45.6 (41.4–49.9) 45.6 (41.1–49.1) 46.0 (42.7–49.9) 0.705
16:1n-7 0.8 (0.6–0.9) 0.7 (0.6–0.8) 0.8 (0.6–0.9) 0.7 (0.6–1.1) 0.8 (0.6–0.9) 0.8 (0.6–1.0) 0.339
18:1n-7 1.7 (1.3–1.8) 2.0 (1.4–2.2) 1.8 (1.6–2.0) 1.7 (1.3–1.9) 1.7 (1.5–2.1) 1.8 (1.5–2.0) 0.557
18:1n-9 9.9 (8.2–10.9) 9.7 (8.3–11.2) 9.4 (7.3–10.6) 10.2 (8.3–11.1) 10.6 (8.9–11.5) 10.9 (8.3–11.5) 0.087
22:1n-11 0.6 (0.2–1.6) 0.6 (0.2–1.5) 0.8 (0.8–1.8) 0.6 (0.0–1.3) 0.3 (0.0–1.0) 0.6 (0.0–1.1) 0.356
Total monounsaturated fatty acids 13.1 (11.4–13.8) 12.8 (11.2–14.6) 12.6 (11.3–13.8) 13.3 (11.8–14.4) 13.6 (11.6–14.7) 13.9 (11.4–15.0) 0.207
18:2n-6 16.7 (11.5–19.9) 16.5 (10.7–18.6) 14.4 (11.0–16.9) 16.0 (12.5–19.2) 16.7 (12.8–18.1) 17.0 (13.5–19.5) 0.044
20:2n-6 0.4 (0.2–0.7) 0.3 (0.2–0.5) 0.4 (0.2–0.6) 0.3 (0.2–0.5) 0.3 (0.2–0.5) 0.4 (0.3–0.6) 0.458
20:3n-6 2.6 (1.8–3.2) 2.5 (1.7–3.0) 2.2 (1.6–2.6) 2.1 (1.5–3.1) 2.2 (1.7–2.8) 2.4 (1.8–3.1) 0.003
20:4n-6 6.9 (5.0–7.7) 6.8 (4.8–8.2) 6.6 (4.1–8.0) 5.9 (4.1–9.8) 6.6 (4.2–8.5) 6.5 (4.8–8.7) 0.144
Total n-6 fatty acids 25.2 (18.9–30.7) 26.8 (17.5–30.0) 23.8 (17.6–28.3) 24.4 (18.4–32.2) 25.1 (19.3–29.9) 25.2 (21.5–30.5) 0.008
18:3n-3 0.3 (0.0–0.4) 0.2 (0.0–0.4) 0.4 (0.0–0.4) 0.3 (0.2–0.4) 0.3 (0.1–0.5) 0.3 (0.0–0.5) 0.395
20:5n-3 1.4 (1.1–1.8) 1.8 (1.1–2.8) 2.1 (1.4–3.3)§ 1.1 (1.0–1.5) 1.1 (1.0–1.7) 1.1 (0.9–1.4) <0.001
22:5n-3 0.7 (0.2–1.7) 0.6 (0.2–1.4) 0.8 (0.2–1.7) 0.5 (0.2–1.3) 0.6 (0.2–1.0) 0.6 (0.3–1.0) 0.395
22:6n-3 3.9 (2.2–4.8) 4.2 (3.1–6.6) 5.0 (2.5–7.2)§ 3.0 (1.5–4.3) 3.5 (1.7–4.2) 3.0 (2.2–4.5) <0.001
Total n-3 fatty acids 6.1 (5.2–7.4) 7.3 (5.3–10.0) 8.6 (6.0–11.7)§ 5.2 (4.3–7.0) 4.9 (3.7–6.4) 5.2 (3.8–7.0) 0.001
n-6:n-3 ratio 4.2 (3.0–5.6) 3.1 (2.7–3.7) 2.5 (2.1–3.5) 4.6 (3.6–5.6) 4.4 (3.4–5.6) 4.9 (4.1–5.6) 0.002
Total polyunsaturated fatty acids 32.7 (25.9–38.4) 33.5 (24.4–40.1) 32.4 (22.7–39.0) 29.3 (22.3–37.5) 31.0 (24.0–36.6) 30.9 (25.7–37.4) 0.072
  1. Data are presented as medians (25th–75th percentiles). *The p-values refer to differences between the MD- and the CD group concerning the change from baseline to week 12. Differences between the groups were analyzed with the Mann-Whitney U test. Statistically significant change from baseline to week 12: †p < 0.05, ‡p < 0.01, §p < 0.001. Within-group differences in week 12 compared to baseline were evaluated by the Wilcoxon signed ranks test.