Purpose: Modulation of circulating inflammatory markers and adiponectin may link PUFA to risk of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. We investigated erythrocyte n-6 and n-3 PUFA in relation to plasma C-reactive protein (CRP) and adiponectin, and whether the Pro12Ala polymorphism in the PPARγ2 gene (PPARG2) modified these associations.
Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional analysis among 1,222 women and 758 men participating in the EPIC-Potsdam study.
Results: Most notably, in both sexes, higher linoleic acid (LA) was related to lower CRP (geometric mean outcome [mg/L], quintile 1, quintile 5, p for trend ≤ 0.01 unless otherwise stated: 0.95, 0.61 [women], 0.67, 0.51 [men]) and higher adiponectin (7.9, 9.1 [women], 5.3, 6.1 [men]), whereas higher γ-linolenic acid (GLA) and dihomo-γ-linolenic acid (DGLA) were related to higher CRP (GLA: 0.63, 0.92 [women], 0.55, 0.70, p = 0.08 [men], DGLA: 0.55, 1.07 [women], 0.52, 0.76 [men]) and lower adiponectin (GLA: 8.6, 8.0 [women], 5.8, 5.4, p = 0.08 [men], DGLA: 9.2, 7.9 [women], 5.9, 5.4, p = 0.08 [men]) adjusting for age and lifestyle. The associations mostly did neither strongly nor significantly vary by PPARG2 genotype. In women, Pro12Ala appeared to interact with arachidonic acid on CRP (p = 0.04), as well as with docosatetraenoic acid on CRP (p = 0.08) and adiponectin (p = 0.02).
Conclusions: Our findings suggest that erythrocyte PUFA, particularly LA and n-6 higher unsaturated fatty acids, are related to circulating CRP and adiponectin. They do not indicate that PUFA strongly interact with the PPARG2 Pro12Ala variant on these risk markers.