European Journal of Nutrition
School of Medical and Health Sciences
Open Access funded by CAUL
University of Western Australia
Telethon Kids Institute
Women and Infants Research Foundation
Edith Cowan University
The University of Notre Dame Australia
Medical Research Foundation
National Health and Medical Research Council
NHMRC Numbers : 003209, 353514, 211912, 403981, 1021105, 1022134, 1027449, 1044840, 1021855
Background and aim:
Dietary fat intake has long been associated with fatty liver. Our study aimed to determine the effect of dietary fats on longitudinal fatty liver index (FLI) trajectories from adolescence to young adulthood.
Nine hundred eighty-five participants in the Raine Study, Perth, Western Australia, Australia, had cross-sectional assessments at ages 14, 17, 20 and 22 years, during which anthropometric measurements and blood tests were obtained. FLI trajectories were derived from the longitudinal FLI results. Dietary fat intake was measured with a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire at 14 years and log multinominal regression analyses were used to estimate relative risks.
Three FLI trajectories were identified and labelled as stable-low (79.1%, N = 782), low-to-high (13.9%, N = 132), and stable-high (7%, N = 71). The low-to-high group associated with an increased intake of the long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids EPA, DPA and DHA (RR 1.27, 95% CI 1.10–1.48) relative to the stable-low group. Compared to the stable-low group, omega-6 and the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 in the stable-high group were associated with an increased relative risk of 1.34 (95% CI 1.02–1.76) and 1.10 (95% CI 1.03–1.16), respectively.
For those at high risk of fatty liver in early adolescence, high omega-6 fatty acid intake and a high ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids are associated with increased risk of fatty liver. There should be caution in assuming these associations are causal due to possible undetected and underestimated confounding factors.
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