British Journal of Nutrition

Full Papers

Dietary Surveys and Nutritional Epidemiology

SATgenɛ dietary model to implement diets of differing fat composition in prospectively genotyped groups (apoE) using commercially available foods

Stacey Lockyera1, Maria Tzanetoua1, Andrew L. Carvalho-Wellsa1 p1, Kim G. Jacksona1, Anne M. Minihanea1 p2 and Julie A. Lovegrovea1 c1

a1 Hugh Sinclair Unit of Human Nutrition and Institute for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research (ICMR), Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, University of Reading, Whiteknights Campus, PO Box 266, Reading RG6 6AP, UK


Response to dietary fat manipulation is highly heterogeneous, yet generic population-based recommendations aimed at reducing the burden of CVD are given. The APOE epsilon genotype has been proposed to be an important determinant of this response. The present study reports on the dietary strategy employed in the SATgenɛ (SATurated fat and gene APOE) study, to assess the impact of altered fat content and composition on the blood lipid profile according to the APOE genotype. A flexible dietary exchange model was developed to implement three isoenergetic diets: a low-fat (LF) diet (target composition: 24 % of energy (%E) as fat, 8 %E SFA and 59 %E carbohydrate), a high-saturated fat (HSF) diet (38 %E fat, 18 %E SFA and 45 %E carbohydrate) and a HSF-DHA diet (HSF diet with 3 g DHA/d). Free-living participants (n 88; n 44 E3/E3 and n 44 E3/E4) followed the diets in a sequential design for 8 weeks, each using commercially available spreads, oils and snacks with specific fatty acid profiles. Dietary compositional targets were broadly met with significantly higher total fat (42·8 %E and 41·0 %E v. 25·1 %E, P ≤ 0·0011) and SFA (19·3 %E and 18·6 %E v. 8·33 %E, P ≤ 0·0011) intakes during the HSF and HSF-DHA diets compared with the LF diet, in addition to significantly higher DHA intake during the HSF-DHA diet (P ≤ 0·0011). Plasma phospholipid fatty acid analysis revealed a 2-fold increase in the proportion of DHA after consumption of the HSF-DHA diet for 8 weeks, which was independent of the APOE genotype. In summary, the dietary strategy was successfully implemented in a free-living population resulting in well-tolerated diets which broadly met the dietary targets set.

(Received July 15 2011)

(Revised November 23 2011)

(Accepted November 23 2011)

(Online publication January 16 2012)

Key Words:

  • Dietary fat composition;
  • APOE genotype;
  • SFA;
  • DHA


c1 Corresponding author: J. Lovegrove, fax +44 118 378 7708, email

p1 Present address: UCL Institute of Child Health, 30 Guilford Street, London WC1N 1EH, UK

p2 Present address: Department of Nutrition, Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia (UEA), Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK


  Abbreviations: %E, percentage of energy; CHO, carbohydrate; HSF, high saturated fat; HSF-DHA, high saturated fat plus DHA; LC n-3 PUFA, long-chain n-3 PUFA; LF, low fat; SACN, Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition; SATgenɛ, SATurated fat and gene apoE