Advanced Quantitative Lipoprotein Characteristics Do Not Relate to Healthy Dietary Patterns in Adults from a Mediterranean Area

Nutrients. 2021 Dec 6;13(12):4369. doi: 10.3390/nu13124369.


We aimed to assess the potential relationship between dietary patterns (i.e., Mediterranean diet and healthy eating) and the advanced lipoprotein profile (ALP) in a representative cohort of the Mediterranean population. Thus, ALP data from 1142 participants, including 222 with type 1 (19.4%) and 252 type 2 diabetes (22.1%), and 668 subjects without diabetes were used to study cross-sectional associations between quantitative characteristics of lipoproteins and adherence to the Mediterranean diet. The alternate Mediterranean diet score (aMED) and the alternate healthy eating index (aHEI) were calculated. The ALP was determined by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometry. Bivariable and multivariable analyses were performed. Participants in the third tertile of the aMED showed higher levels of low-density lipoprotein triglycerides (LDL-TG) (mean (SD) 17.5 (5.0); p = 0.037), large high-density lipoprotein particles (HDL-P) (0.3 (0.1); p = 0.037), and medium low-density lipoprotein particles (LDL-P) (434.0 (143.0); p = 0.037). In comparison with participants in the second and first tertiles of the aHEI, participants in the third tertile had higher levels of LDL-TG (17.7 (5.0); p = 0.010), and large HDL-P (0.3 (0.1); p = 0.002), IDL-C (11.8 (5.0); p = 0.001), intermediate-density lipoprotein triglycerides (IDL-TG) (13.2 (4.2); p < 0.001), LDL-TG (17.7(5.0); p = 0.010), high-density lipoprotein triglycerides (HDL-TG) (14.5 (4.4); p = 0.029,) large HDL-P (0.3 (0.1); p = 0.002) and very-low-density lipoprotein particles (VLDL-P) size (42.1 (0.2); p = 0.011). The adjusted-multivariable analysis for potential confounding variables did not show any association between the lipoproteins and dietary patterns (i.e., aMED and aHEI). In conclusion, none of the quantitative characteristics of lipoproteins were concomitantly associated with the extent of adherence to the Mediterranean diet measured using the aMED or aHEI scores in the studied population. Our findings also revealed that people with the highest adherence were older, had a higher body mass index (BMI) and more frequently had dyslipidemia, hypertension, or diabetes than those with the lowest adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MDiet). Thus, further research may be needed to assess the potential role of the dietary pattern on the ALP.

Keywords: Mediterranean diet; advanced lipoprotein profile; dietary pattern; healthy eating.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / metabolism
  • Diet, Healthy*
  • Diet, Mediterranean*
  • Dyslipidemias
  • Feeding Behavior / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension
  • Lipoproteins / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Compliance
  • Young Adult


  • Lipoproteins