Intensive lifestyle intervention provides rapid reduction of serum fatty acid levels in women with severe obesity without lowering omega-3 to unhealthy levels
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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- Department of Chemistry 
Serum fatty acid (FA) levels were monitored in women with severe obesity during intensive lifestyle intervention. At baseline, total FA levels and most individual FAs were elevated compared to a matching cohort of normal and overweight women (healthy controls). After 3 weeks of intensive lifestyle intervention, total level was only 11–12% higher than in the healthy controls and with almost all FAs being significantly lower than at baseline, but with levels of omega-3 being similar to the healthy controls. This is contrary to observations for patients subjected to bariatric surgery where omega-3 levels dropped to levels significantly lower than in the lifestyle patients and healthy controls. During the next 3 weeks of treatment, the FA levels in lifestyle patients were unchanged, while the weight loss continued at almost the same rate as in the first 3 weeks. Multivariate analysis revealed that weight loss and change of serum FA patterns were unrelated outcomes of the intervention for lifestyle patients. For bariatric patients, these processes were associated probably due to reduced dietary input and increased input from the patients’ own fat deposits, causing a higher rate of weight loss and simultaneous reduction of the ratio of serum eicosapentaenoic to arachidonic acid.