Objective: There is evidence that increasing the proportion of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) in a diet can enhance the rate of fat oxidation acutely. Higher PUFA in a diet has also been associated with greater abdominal fat loss in longer term studies. This study aimed to investigate if higher PUFA intake would result in greater fat mass loss over a 12-week period, mainly from the abdominal region.
Methods: Data at the 12-week time point from two weight loss studies, both comparing high PUFA versus low PUFA diets was, accessed for 141 overweight subjects from the same area. Specifically, data on anthropometric measurements (weight, height, BMI, body composition, waist and hip circumference, SAT, VAT) and dietary intake were analyzed. The relationship between fat mass and VAT changes was examined using a differential equation.
Results: Energy consumption decreased significantly in both study groups. The low fat groups decreased total dietary fat while the HPUFA groups increased PUFA intake significantly. All anthropometric measurements reduced significantly over time but there was no difference between the two dietary groups. The relationship between fat mass and visceral adipose tissue (VAT) loss was allometric.
Conclusion: A higher PUFA intake did not lead to greater fat mass loss and there was no additional preferential loss of VAT following higher PUFA consumption.