A cross-sectional study of human serum sphingolipids, diet and physiologic parameters.
Sphinganine and sphingosine, the two sphingoid base backbones of sphingolipids, are highly bioactive compounds that are of increasing interest to nutritionists because they occur in food and their metabolism can be altered by fungal toxins that contaminate some foods. Nonetheless, no studies of diet and sphinganine or sphingosine concentrations in serum have yet been reported. Here we describe a cross-sectional study of 265 residents of Linxian, People's Republic of China, which examines potential demographic, physiologic and dietary correlates of serum sphinganine and sphingosine in this population. Median concentrations of serum sphinganine and sphingosine were compared among strata for 29 different variables. For sphinganine, no significant differences were found. For sphingosine, significant differences were seen among strata of age, menstruation status, serum cholesterol, carotenoids, retinol, tocopherols, fresh and dried vegetable and fresh fruit consumption. Using multivariate linear regression with stepwise selection, we found that the significant predictors for serum sphingosine included total tocopherols, age, serum selenium and retinol, with a final R(2) = 0.22; for sphinganine, tooth loss was the sole correlate, with R(2) = 0.015. Analyses using ranked sphingolipid data or principal components analysis, to simplify the food variables, did not materially alter these results. This study represents the largest report of human serum sphingolipid concentrations to date and provides insight into potential explanatory variables that can be incorporated into future studies.
Abnet, CC; Borkowf, CB; Qiao, YL; Albert, PS; Wang, E; Merrill, AH; Mark, SD; Dong, ZW; Taylor, PR; Dawsey, SM
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