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Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Dec;84(6):1330-9.

Dietary fish intake and plasma phospholipid n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid concentrations in men and women in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer-Norfolk United Kingdom cohort.

Author information

  • 1Department of Public Health and Primary Care and the Clinical Gerontology Unit, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom. ailsa.welch@phpc.cam.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid, found in fish and fish-oil supplements and also formed by conversion of alpha-linolenic acid in soy and rapeseed (canola) oils, are thought to have cardioprotective effects.

OBJECTIVE:

Because the relative feasibility and measurement error of dietary methods varies, this study compared fish and fish-oil intakes obtained from 4 dietary methods with plasma n-3 PUFAs in men and women in a general population.

DESIGN:

The study participants were 4949 men and women aged 40-79 y from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer-Norfolk United Kingdom cohort. Measurements of plasma phospholipid n-3 PUFA concentrations and fish intakes were made with the use of 4 dietary methods (food-frequency questionnaire, health and lifestyle questionnaire, 7-d diary, and first-day recall from the 7-d diary).

RESULTS:

Amounts of fish consumed and relations with plasma phospholipid n-3 PUFAs were not substantially different between the 4 dietary methods. Plasma n-3 PUFA concentrations were significantly higher in women than in men, were 20% higher in fish-oil consumers than in non-fish-oil consumers, and were twice as high in fatty fish consumers as in total fish consumers. Only approximately 25% of the variation in plasma n-3 PUFA was explained by fish and fish-oil consumption.

CONCLUSIONS:

This large study found no substantial differences between dietary methods and observed clear sex differences in plasma n-3 PUFAs. Because variation in n-3 PUFA was only partially determined by fish and fish-oil consumption, this could explain the inconsistent results of observational and intervention studies on coronary artery disease protection.

PMID:
17158413
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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