Levels of eicosapentaenoic acid in obese schoolchildren with and without insulin resistance

Nutr Hosp. 2014 Sep 12;31(3):1102-8. doi: 10.3305/nh.2015.31.3.8047.


Background: Obesity in children is now an increasing health risk worldwide in which the insulin-resistance can be present. Studies have linked a diet rich in n-3 fatty acids with a lower prevalence of insulin-resistance.

Objective: To compare the levels of eicosapentaenoic acid among obese children with and without insulin-resistance.

Materials and methods: In 56 randomly school-age children with obesity, insulin-resistance was determined by the homeostasis model assessment for insulin-resistance index and the serum levels of eicosapentaenoic acid were determined by gas chromatography. Insulin-resistance was established when the index was >6.0, non- insulin- resistance when that index was within the range of 1.4-5.9. The serum levels of eicosapentaenoic acid were compared with the Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney U tests, as needed.

Results: No differences in age or sex were identified among the groups studied. The anthropometric parameters were significantly higher in the group of children with insulin-resistance than in the other two groups. The children with insulin- resistance had significantly lower levels of eicosapentaenoic acid than the non- insulin-resistance group [12.4% area under the curve vs. 37.4%, p = 0.031], respectively.

Conclusion: Obese primary school-aged children with insulin-resistance had lower plasma levels of eicosapentaenoic acid.

Introducción: La obesidad en los niños es un problema de salud pública en todo el mundo y la resistencia a la insulina puede estar presente. Existen estudios publicados que han relacionado una dieta rica en n-3 ácidos grasos con una menor prevalencia de resistencia a la insulina en sujetos obesos. Objetivo: Comparar los niveles de ácido eicosapentaenoico en niños escolares obesos con y sin resistencia a la insulina. Métodos: Se eligieron al azar 56 niños en edad escolar con obesidad, a los cuales se les determinó resistencia a la insulina mediante la evaluación del modelo de homeostasis para el índice de resistencia a la insulina y se determinaron los niveles séricos de ácido eicosapentaenoico por cromatografía de gases. La resistencia a la insulina se estableció cuando el índice fue> 6,0, no resistencia a la insulina cuando ese índice fue.

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Body Composition
  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid / blood*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / blood
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Male
  • Mexico / epidemiology
  • Motor Activity
  • Obesity / blood*
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Waist Circumference


  • Blood Glucose
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Insulin
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid