Arq Bras Cardiol. 2023 Sep 1;120(8):e20220598. doi: 10.36660/abc.20220598. eCollection 2023.
BACKGROUND: Several studies have associated dietary saturated fatty acids (SFAs) with cardiovascular risk but there are still many controversies. Most of these studies have focused on the effects of palmitic acid on circulating lipids. Stearic acid usually shows a neutral effect on blood lipids, however, there is a lack of clinical studies assessing the link with inflammatory and endothelial dysfunction markers.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the association of red blood cell (RBC) SFA (palmitic and stearic acids) with circulating inflammatory and endothelial dysfunction biomarkers.
METHODS: Cross-sectional study of 79 adults of both sexes with at least one cardiovascular risk factor but without previous events (acute myocardial infarction or stroke). Plasma biomarkers – lipids, glucometabolic markers, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin-10 (IL-10), monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) – and RBC palmitic and stearic fatty acids were analyzed. The associations were assessed by correlation and multiple linear regression analyses, with statistical significance set at p < 0.05.
RESULTS: Palmitic acid showed no significant associations with traditional cardiovascular risk factors or inflammatory markers. Stearic acid, on the other hand, was inversely correlated with blood cholesterol and triglycerides, but independently associated with hs-CRP, IL-6, and TNF-α.
CONCLUSION: Stearic acid is associated with inflammatory and endothelial dysfunction biomarkers in individuals with at least one cardiovascular risk factor.