Plasma polyunsaturated fatty acids and age-related physical performance decline

Angela M. Abbatecola, Antonio Cherubini, Jack M. Guralnik, Cristina Andres Lacueva, Carmelinda Ruggiero, Marcello Maggio, Stefania Bandinelli, Giuseppe Paolisso, Luigi Ferrucci

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Abstract

Due to supporting evidence that dietary patterns may have a significant role in the maintenance of good physical performance with aging, we tested whether plasma fatty acids, saturated fatty acids (SFA), and polyunsaturated (PUFA) fatty acids are cross-sectionally associated with different physical performance and predict changes in physical performance over a 3-year period. Data were from the InCHIANTI study, a population-based study of older Italians. Plasma fatty acids were measured at enrollment (1998-2000), and outcome variables, Summary Physical Performance Battery (SPPB), and time to walk 7 meters (m) were measured at enrollment and after 3 years (2001-2004). At enrollment, 330 participants had significantly impaired lower extremity performance (defined as a SPPB score ≤9). Adjusting for age, participants with a SPPB score >9 had higher levels of total PUFA, n-3 PUFA, and n-6 PUFA, while significantly lower levels of SFA than those with a SPPB score 9 at baseline, 114 (12.9%) developed impaired lower extremity performance (SPPB ≤9). In fully adjusted logistic models, baseline n-3 PUFA levels were inversely related to the risk of developing a decline in SPPB to ≤9 (odds ratio [OR] = 0.21; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.08-0.53), while the n-6/n-3 ratio was associated with a higher risk of SPPB decline to ≤9 (OR = 5.23; 95% CI = 2.02-13.51). In multivariate regression models, the n-6/n-3 ratio was associated with a longer time to walk 7 m (β = 0.396, p = 0.037). n-3 PUFA plasma levels, which most likely reflect dietary intake, seem to protect against accelerated decline of physical performance. A higher n-6/n-3 ratio was associated with higher risk of developing poor physical performance and slower walking speed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-32
Number of pages8
JournalRejuvenation Research
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2009
Externally publishedYes

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

Cite this

Abbatecola, A. M., Cherubini, A., Guralnik, J. M., Lacueva, C. A., Ruggiero, C., Maggio, M., Bandinelli, S., Paolisso, G., & Ferrucci, L. (2009). Plasma polyunsaturated fatty acids and age-related physical performance decline. Rejuvenation Research, 12(1), 25-32. https://doi.org/10.1089/rej.2008.0799