Intake of milk fat, reflected in adipose tissue fatty acids and risk of myocardial infarction: a case-control study

Eur J Clin Nutr. 2006 Feb;60(2):236-44. doi: 10.1038/sj.ejcn.1602307.


Objective: To study the association between content of fatty acids from milk fat (14:0, 15:0 and 17:0) in adipose tissue and risk of a first myocardial infarction (MI).

Design and subjects: A case-control study with 99 patients and 98 population controls both men and postmenopausal women, age 45-75 year. Adipose tissue fatty acids were determined by gas-liquid chromatography.

Results: The content of 14:0, 14:1, 15:0, 17:0 and 17:1 were all significantly higher in adipose tissue of controls than of the patients. Age and sex adjusted odds ratios (OR) for MI were significantly reduced with increasing quartiles of 14:0, 14:1, 15:0 and 17:1 in adipose tissue, but except for 15:0 (OR = 0.36, 95% CI 0.13-0.99), the trend was no longer significant after further adjustment for waist-to-hip ratio, smoking and family history for coronary heart disease. Correlations between 14:0 and 15:0 in adipose tissue, and waist-to-hip ratio were significantly negative (r = -0.22 for both, P < 0.01).

Conclusion: Our study suggests that intake of dairy fat or some other component of dairy products, as reflected by C15:0 as marker in adipose tissue, may protect persons at increased risk from having a first MI, and that the causal effects may rely on other factors than serum cholesterol.

Sponsorship: Throne Holst's foundation for Nutrition Research, Research Council of Norway, The Norwegian Association of Margarine Producers, DeNoFa Fabriker A/S, TINE BA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / chemistry*
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Fatty Acids / analysis*
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Milk / chemistry*
  • Myocardial Infarction / epidemiology*
  • Myocardial Infarction / etiology
  • Myocardial Infarction / prevention & control
  • Odds Ratio
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Waist-Hip Ratio


  • Fatty Acids