Background: Although patients experience hair loss and dry skin which may be attributable to deficiency in essential fatty acids (EFAs), the impact of bariatric surgeries on EFA status is unknown. Methods: This study aimed to assess plasma phospholipid fatty acid profiles following adjustable gastric banding (AGB), which restricts dietary fat intake, versus Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB), which also promotes fat malabsorption. Serial measures were obtained before and 1 and 6 months from women undergoing RYGB (N = 13) and AGB (N = 5). Measures included the composition of plasma fatty acids in phospholipids, dietary intake, and body fat mass. Friedman and Mann–Whitney tests were used to assess differences over time and between groups, respectively, p < 0.05. Results: Dietary intake of fats decreased equally at 1 and 6 months following RYGB and AGB. By 6 months, the RYGB group lost more body fat. There were no remarkable changes in EFA in plasma phospholipids following AGB. However, following RYGB, a transient increase in 20:4N6 (+18 %) and a decrease in 20:3N6 at 1 (−47 %) and 6 months (−47 %) were observed. Similar changes were observed in N3 fatty acids following RYGB, including a transient increase in 22:6N3 (+11 %) and decreases in 20:5N3 (−79 and −67 % at 1 and 6 months, respectively). EFA status improved following surgery in the RYGB group. Conclusions: We demonstrate alterations in plasma EFA following RYGB. The status of EFA improved, but the decrease in 20:5N3, the precursor for anti-inflammatory eicosanoids, may be a concern.
- Essential fatty acid deficiency
- Gastric bypass
- Long chain fatty acids
- Weight loss surgery