BACKGROUND: Although patients experience hair loss and dry skin which may be attributable to deficiency in essential fatty acids (EFAs), the impact of bariatric surgeries on EFA status is unknown.
METHODS: This study aimed to assess plasma phospholipid fatty acid profiles following adjustable gastric banding (AGB), which restricts dietary fat intake, versus Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB), which also promotes fat malabsorption. Serial measures were obtained before and 1 and 6 months from women undergoing RYGB (N = 13) and AGB (N = 5). Measures included the composition of plasma fatty acids in phospholipids, dietary intake, and body fat mass. Friedman and Mann-Whitney tests were used to assess differences over time and between groups, respectively, p < 0.05.
RESULTS: Dietary intake of fats decreased equally at 1 and 6 months following RYGB and AGB. By 6 months, the RYGB group lost more body fat. There were no remarkable changes in EFA in plasma phospholipids following AGB. However, following RYGB, a transient increase in 20:4N6 (+18 %) and a decrease in 20:3N6 at 1 (-47 %) and 6 months (-47 %) were observed. Similar changes were observed in N3 fatty acids following RYGB, including a transient increase in 22:6N3 (+11 %) and decreases in 20:5N3 (-79 and -67 % at 1 and 6 months, respectively). EFA status improved following surgery in the RYGB group.
CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrate alterations in plasma EFA following RYGB. The status of EFA improved, but the decrease in 20:5N3, the precursor for anti-inflammatory eicosanoids, may be a concern.