Fatty acid composition of subcutaneous adipose tissue and diet in postmenopausal US women

Am J Clin Nutr. 1991 Aug;54(2):340-5. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/54.2.340.


The distributions of fatty acids in subcutaneous-adipose-tissue aspirates and their relation to intake as assessed by a semiquantitative food-frequency questionnaire were investigated in 115 postmenopausal US women free from cancer. Percentages of fatty acids in adipose tissue were significantly correlated with the percentage of total fat intake for polyunsaturated fatty acids (Spearman correlation = 0.37), n-3 fatty acids of marine origin (Spearman correlation = 0.48), and trans fatty acids (Spearman correlation = 0.51) but not for saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids. Correlations were somewhat stronger in 78 women with stable weight over the 6 mo before fat aspiration. These data suggest that intakes of polyunsaturated fatty acids, including n-3 fatty acids, and trans fatty acids are reflected in the adipose tissue but that intakes of saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids are not. The data also provide further support for the validity of the food-frequency questionnaire in the assessment of fat intake.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Body Weight
  • Diet Records
  • Diet*
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage*
  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated / administration & dosage
  • Energy Intake
  • Fatty Acids / administration & dosage
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism*
  • Fatty Acids, Monounsaturated / administration & dosage
  • Fatty Acids, Monounsaturated / metabolism
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / administration & dosage
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Menopause
  • Middle Aged
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States


  • Dietary Fats
  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated
  • Fatty Acids
  • Fatty Acids, Monounsaturated
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated