Thigh and Buttock Fat Depots more Unsaturated than Abdominal Fat Depots

Also see:
Toxicity of Stored PUFA
Dietary PUFA Reflected in Human Subcutaneous Fat Tissue
Israeli Paradox: High Omega -6 Diet Promotes Disease
PUFA Accumulation & Aging
PUFA Promote Stress Response; Saturated Fats Suppress Stress Response
Belly Fat, Cortisol, and Stress

Am J Clin Nutr. 1989 Aug;50(2):288-91.
Fatty acid composition of adipose tissue in humans: differences between subcutaneous sites.
Malcom GT, Bhattacharyya AK, Velez-Duran M, Guzman MA, Oalmann MC, Strong JP.
We compared the fatty acid composition of adipose tissue from three different sites, one deep-seated site (perirenal) and two subcutaneous sites (abdominal and buttock), in 143 autopsied adult humans aged 24-61 y. The proportion of saturated fatty acids was highest in the perirenal adipose tissue and lowest in buttock adipose tissue. The proportions of monounsaturated fatty acids in the three sites were in the reverse order. Linoleic and linolenic acids were similar in the three adipose-tissue sites, an important finding for those concerned about the essential fatty acids, which are solely derived from the diet. The results clearly show that the fatty acid composition of the two subcutaneous fat depots differ significantly. We conclude that abdominal fat is more saturated than buttock fat.

Eur J Clin Nutr. 2002 Nov;56(11):1081-6.
Abdominal vs buttock adipose fat: relationships with children’s serum lipid levels.
Mamalakis G, Kafatos A, Manios Y, Kalogeropoulos N, Andrikopoulos N.
To explore the extent to which the reported unfavorable fatty acid content of abdominal depots in adults is also true for children. In addition, the present study aims to assess the relative importance of abdominal vs buttock adipose tissue fat in the prediction of serum lipid levels in children.
A cross-sectional study of children from the island of Crete.
The study was conducted between October 1999 and January 2000 in the Municipality of St Nikolas, Crete.
A total of 475 children (aged 11-18) participated in the study. Data were obtained on children’s anthropometry, serum lipids, physical activity and abdominal and buttock adipose tissue fatty acids. In total 138 children (aged 11-16) had complete data in all of the variables studied.
Abdominal depots have elevated proportions of saturated fatty acids (P<0.001) and trans fatty acids (P<0.001), and reduced proportions of monounsaturated (P<0.001) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (P<0.001) in comparison to buttock depots. Buttock adipose tissue monounsaturated fat correlated negatively to serum LDL-C (P<0.05). Abdominal adipose tissue polyunsaturated fat had negative correlations with serum total cholesterol (P<0.05) and LDL-C (P<0.05). Regression analyses indicated that children’s serum total cholesterol (P<0.05) and LDL-C (P<0.05) were inversely related to abdominal adipose tissue polyunsaturated fat. Body mass index was positively related to serum triglycerides (P<0.01) and LDL-C (P<0.01), and negatively to serum HDL-C (P<0.05). Age was negatively related to serum HDL-C (P<0.05). CONCLUSIONS: It appears that, similar to adults, children’s fatty acid composition of abdominal adipose tissue is less favorable than that of the buttock. Abdominal depots have elevated proportions of saturated fatty acids and reduced proportions of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat in comparison to buttock depots. Moreover, children’s abdominal depots appear to have higher trans fatty acid contents than buttock depots. Children’s adipose polyunsaturated fat, a biomarker of long-term polyunsaturated fatty acid intake, is inversely related to serum total cholesterol and LDL-C. It appears that abdominal adipose tissue fatty acids are more strongly related to serum lipids than buttock adipose tissue fatty acids. This may be attributed to the reported higher lipolysis rates in abdominal as opposed to buttock depots.
Funding was provided by the Municipality of St Nikolas, Crete, Greece.

Br J Nutr. 1979 Jul;42(1):57-61.
Site differences in the fatty acid composition of subcutaneous adipose tissue of obese women.
Pittet PG, Halliday D, Bateman PE.
1. Adipose tissue samples were obtained by needle biopsy from three subcutaneous sites (thigh, abdomen and upper arm) in twenty-two obese women. The fatty acid composition was determined using gas-liquid chromatography and the results presented relate to eleven component fatty acids. 2. The fatty acid composition of adipose tissue obtained from the arm and abdomen was remarkably similar, with the exception of the levels of lauric acid. 3. The analyses showed that the majority of the saturated fatty acids were present in smaller proportions whilst the majority of unsaturated fatty acids were present in larger proportions in the thigh than in the two other sites. Highly significant inter-site differences were demonstrated for six of the major fatty acids and also for both the total amounts of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids and their ratios. 4. No marked differences in the fatty acid composition of adipose tissue from obese subjects were revealed during this study when compared with previously reported results obtained from ‘normal-weight’ subjects.

Am J Clin Nutr. 1994 Nov;60(5):725-9.
Human subcutaneous adipose tissue shows site-specific differences in fatty acid composition.
Phinney SD, Stern JS, Burke KE, Tang AB, Miller G, Holman RT.
Adipose tissue was obtained from six women undergoing liposuction twice at 6-mo intervals. Samples obtained bilaterally from abdomen, inner thigh, and outer thigh had fatty acids quantified by gas chromatography. There were no important differences between sides or over time. The saturates 14:0, 16:0, 18:0, and 20:0 were higher in abdominal adipose than in outer thigh (P < 0.002 for all); 16:1 and 18:1 omega 9 were lower in abdomen vs outer thigh (P < 0.01), whereas 18:1 omega 7 and 20:1 omega 9 were unchanged. Polyunsaturates 18:2 omega 6, 20:3 omega 6, and 20:4 omega 6 were higher in outer thigh than in abdomen (P < 0.06), and inner thigh values were intermediate. These changes in fatty acid composition resulted in lower mean triglyceride melting points from abdomen to inner thigh to outer thigh, and suggest that temperature may influence the selection process determining the variation in adipose fatty acid composition with anatomical location. Because the site-specific differences included essential fatty acids, selective uptake as well as potential differences in in situ fatty acid modification are indicated.

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