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Br J Nutr. 2006 Mar;95(3):525-31.

Influence of an algal triacylglycerol containing docosahexaenoic acid (22 : 6n-3) and docosapentaenoic acid (22 : 5n-6) on cardiovascular risk factors in healthy men and women.

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Nutritional Sciences Research Division, Franklin-Wilkins Building, King's College London, UK.


The intake of long-chain n-3 PUFA, including DHA (22 : 6n-3), is associated with a reduced risk of CVD. Schizochytrium sp. are an important primary source of DHA in the marine food chain but they also provide substantial quantities of the n-6 PUFA docosapentaenoic acid (22 : 5n-6; DPA). The effect of this oil on cardiovascular risk factors was evaluated using a double-blind randomised placebo-controlled parallel-design trial in thirty-nine men and forty women. Subjects received 4 g oil/d for 4 weeks; the active treatment provided 1.5 g DHA and 0.6 g DPA. Active treatment increased plasma concentrations of arachidonic acid, adrenic acid, DPA and DHA by 21, 11, 11 and 88 mg/l respectively and the proportions of DPA and DHA in erythrocyte phospholipids by 78 and 27 % respectively. Serum total, LDL- and HDL-cholesterol increased by 0.33 mmol/l (7.3 %), 0.26 mmol/l (10.4 %) and 0.14 mmol/l (9.0 %) compared with placebo (all P < or =0.001). Factor VII (FVII) coagulant activity increased by 12 % following active treatment (P = 0.006). There were no significant differences between treatments in LDL size, blood pressure, plasma glucose, serum C-reactive protein, plasma FVII antigen, FVII activated, fibrinogen, von Willebrand factor, tocopherol or carotenoid concentrations, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1, creatine kinase or troponin-I activities, haematology or liver function tests or self-reported adverse effects. Overall, the oil was well tolerated and did not adversely affect cardiovascular risk.

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