The study found that:
(a) Higher levels of dietary polyunsaturated fats (omega-6 and omega-3) were associated with increased plaque in the arteries.
(b) Saturated fat was NOT associated with increased plaque in the arteries.
How long-term dietary intake of essential fatty acids affects the fatty-acid content of aortic plaques is not clear. We compared the fatty-acid composition of aortic plaques with that of post-mortem serum and adipose tissue, in which essential fatty-acid content reflects dietary intake. Positive associations were found between serum and plaque ω6 (r=0·75) and ω3 (r=0·93) polyunsaturated fatty acids, and monounsaturates (r=0·70), and also between adipose tissue and plaque ω6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (r=0·89). No associations were found with saturated fatty acids. These findings imply a direct influence of dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids on aortic plaque formation and suggest that current trends favouring increased intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids should be reconsidered.