COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

Serum concentration of adipocytokines in prepubertal vegetarian and omnivorous children

Jadwiga Ambroszkiewicz, Witold Klemarczyk, Joanna Gajewska, Magdalena Chełchowska, Grażyna Rowicka, Mariusz Ołtarzewski, Teresa Laskowska-Klita
Medycyna Wieku Rozwojowego 2011, 15 (3): 326-34
22006488

UNLABELLED: THE AIM of our study was to investigate associations between serum adipocytokines status and anthropometric parameters as well as total energy and macronutrient intake in vegetarian, normal-weight omnivorous and obese omnivorous children.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: We examined 90 healthy prepubertal children aged 4-10 years who had been referred to the Department of Nutrition at the Institute of Mother and Child in Warsaw for dietary consultation. Patients with endocrine disorders or genetic syndromes, as well as those who were taking medications that could affect growth, pubertal development or nutritional status were excluded. Children were divided into groups: vegetarians (n=30), normal-weight omnivores (n=30) and obese omnivores (n=30). Anthropometric measurement (weight, height) was performed in all children and body mass index (BMI) was calculated. A whole body dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scan was performed to determine fat mass, the percentage of body fat and lean body mass using a Lunar Prodigy (GE, USA). Dietary constituents were assessed by questionnaire (nutrient intake from a 3-day period: 2 weekdays and 1 weekend day) and calculated using the nutritional computer program Dietetyk2®. Serum total cholesterol, high-density and low-density lipoproteins, and triglycerides concentrations were assessed by standard enzymatic methods. Serum levels of leptin, soluble leptin receptor and adiponectin were determined by immunoenzymatic assays.

RESULTS: There were no significant differences in body weight, height, BMI and lean mass values between vegetarians and normal-weight children on traditional mixed diet. Children on vegetarian diet had lower fat mass (p<0.05) and fat mass/lean mass ratio (p<0.05) than normal-weight omnivores. However, omnivorous children with simple obesity had significantly higher body weight, height, BMI, fat and lean mass in comparison to vegetarian as well to normal-weight omnivorous children. The fat mass/lean mass ratio in obese children was about 2.5-fold higher than in normal-weight subjects on traditional diet. Total energy and percentage of energy from macronutrients in diets of all children were within the recommended daily intake. Children on vegetarian diet was related with lower fat and higher carbohydrates intake in comparison to their omnivorous peers. Vegetarian children had significantly lower mean total cholesterol (151.5±18.0 mg/dL), low-density lipoprotein (81.0±13.6 mg/dL) and triglycerides (61.6±20.5 mg/dL) than omnivores, especially the obese ones (165.0±22.3 mg/dL, 94.7±19.2 mg/dL, 82.4±32.3 mg/dL, respectively). These differences were statistically significant (p<0.05). Serum concentration of leptin was significantly lower in vegetarian children (3.0±2.1 ng/ml) compared with omnivores (6.8±3.4 ng/ml in normal weight versus 37.8±12.7 ng/ml in obese) (p<0.0001). However, serum soluble leptin receptor as well as adiponectin were at higher levels in vegetarians than in omnivores (p<0.001 and p<0.05, respectively). We observed that serum leptin levels positively and soluble leptin receptor negatively correlated with body mass index and fat mass in prepubertal children. Moreover, leptin levels negatively correlated with its soluble receptor and with adiponectin.

CONCLUSIONS: In children different kinds of diet might modify not only body mass and lipid profile but also serum concentration of adipocytokines. Determination of leptin and its soluble receptor, as well as adiponectin levels may be clinically useful in the medical and nutritional care of obese as well as vegetarian prepubertal children.

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