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Table 1 Studies outlining the effects of decreasing dietary linoleic acid levels (% energy) from baseline on changes in plasma/serum phospholipid arachidonic acid level

From: Increasing dietary linoleic acid does not increase tissue arachidonic acid content in adults consuming Western-type diets: a systematic review

Author, (reference) Study design Subjects Diet length Diet comparison LA (% change) Baseline to intervention ΔAA (%) change Comments
Lasserre [17] Randomized crossover N = 24 5 months Peanut oil diet (baseline) compared to milk fat diet -90 (6.5%-0.6% ) 9.99 N.S. Used peanut oil group b/c close to DRI for LA. Subjects were nuns in monastery.
     Peanut oil diet (baseline) compared to low erucic acid rapeseed oil (canola oil) diet -30 (6.5%-4.5%) -5.49 N.S. Used peanut oil group b/c close to DRI for LA. Subjects were nuns in monastery.
Lichtenstein [35] Randomized double-blind crossover N = 30 35 days Soybean oil diet (baseline) compared to high oleic acid soybean oil diet -82 (11%-1.9%) -2.58 N.S. Pooled data of men and women. Baseline diet of 10.96% energy closest to DRI for LA. AA did not differ among remaining groups tested either
Liou [37] Randomized crossover N = 24 4 weeks High linoleic acid sunflower oil (diet) compared to high oleic acid safflower oil (diet) -63 (10.5%-3.8%) -5.55 N.S. Incorporated test oils into baked foods (cookies, breads), mayonnaise, salad dressing. AA data presented in graphs, not tables. Fish intake was avoided for all groups. AA PL content did not differ between sequence of diets going from high LA to low LA or vice versa. Study address low or high LA with constant ALA at 1%.
Goyens [38] Double-blind intervention N = 19 6 weeks Reduced LA in food items (margarines, pastries, baked goods) -57 (7%-3%) 5.26 N.S. Test oils consumed in margarine and pastries. Prohibited consumption of fish or marine foods in all groups.
Vega-Lopez [36] Randomized crossover N = 15 35 days Canola oil diet compared to palm oil diet -50 (6.5%-3.3%) -8.06 N.S. Canola oil in mixed foods was replaced by palm oil in mixed foods. AA did not change among all three dietary groups. Canola oil diet is baseline because closest to DRI LA intake.
Li [39] Parallel intervention N = 17 28 days High LA diet to moderate LA diet using canola oil/canola margarine -48 (13.5%-7%) -3.80 N.S Subjects were given diet more than twice DRI for LA and then given diet resembling the DRI for LA. All groups were asked to not consume fish.
     High LA diet to normal LA diet using canola oil/canola margarine -39 (11.9%-7.3%) -16.5 N.S.  
Mantzioris [40] Parallel intervention N = 15 4 weeks Control diet (sunflower oil) group compared to intervention diet (flaxseed oil) -57 (7.8%-3.3%) -4.5 N.S. Control group consumed relatively close to DRI for LA while intervention group reduced LA by more than half.
King [16] Randomized parallel N = 66 6 weeks Baseline diet compared to low fat diet -29 (10%-7.1%) 4.1 (p < 0.05) Used modified food items for diets containing different amounts of fat. Reported AA PL in % change.
Geppert [41] Randomized double- blind intervention N = 54 8 weeks Baseline diet compared to LA reduced diet (using olive oil capsules) -12 (5.8%-5.1%) 1.12 N.S. Used olive oil capsules with vegetarians.
  1. Percent change (±) from baseline in AA that is significant is identified with (p < 0.05). Percent change (±) from baseline in AA that is not significant is denotedby N.S.
  2. Abbreviations: AA, arachidonic acid; DRI, Dietary Reference Intake; LA, linoleic acid; PL, phospholipid