Plant-based diet, serum fatty acid profile, and free radicals in postmenopausal women: The diet and androgens (DIANA) randomized trial

C. Colombo, P. Muti, V. Pala, A. Cavalleri, E. Venturelli, M. Locardi, F. Berrino, Giorgio Secreto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

High calorie and fat consumption and the production of free radicals are two major mechanistic pathways between diet and disease. In this study we evaluated the effect of a plant-based diet poor in animal fat and rich in (n-3) fatty acids on fatty acids of serum phospholipids and on the production of reactive oxygen metabolites (ROMs). One hundred and four healthy female postmenopausal volunteers were recruited and randomized to a dietary intervention or a control group. Dietary intervention included a program of food education and biweekly common meals for 18 weeks. When the intervention and control groups were compared, it was seen that dietary intervention resulted in a significant reduction of saturated fatty acids (-1.5%) and a significant increase in (n-3) fatty acids (+20.6%), in particular docosahexaenoic acid (+24.8%). We observed that arachidonic acid decreased (-7.7%), while (n-6) fatty acids did not, and the (n-3)/(n-6) polyunsaturated ratio increased significantly (+24.1%). As expected, ROMs decreased significantly in the intervention group (-6%). The results indicated that a plant-based diet can improve the serum fatty acid profile and decrease ROMs production. These results suggest that a plant-based diet may reduce the body's exposure to oxidative stress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-176
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Biological Markers
Volume20
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2005

Keywords

  • Breast cancer
  • d-Roms test
  • Diet
  • Fatty acids
  • Free radicals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Biochemistry

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