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Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2006;15(3):418-24.

Low dose supplementation with two different marine oils does not reduce pro-inflammatory eicosanoids and cytokines in vivo.

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University of Adelaide, White Campus, PMB1, Glen Osmond, South Australia, Australia 5064.


In view of the reported potential anti-inflammatory activity of the New Zealand green lipped mussel (NZGLM), we aimed to compare the effect of low dose marine oil supplementation, from mussels and fish, in reducing blood markers of inflammation. Thirty apparently healthy males and females were recruited from the general public in Melbourne, Australia to participate in a double blind, randomised, parallel intervention study. Subjects were consuming approximately 73 mg of omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LCPUFA) daily in their background diet prior to the commencement of the intervention. Subjects were randomly assigned to consume either 2 mL/day of the NZGLM oil preparation (mixed with olive oil and dl-alpha-tocopherol) or fish oil preparation (also mixed with olive oil and dl-alpha-tocopherol) for six weeks. Two mL of the oils contained 241 mg and 181 mg of n-3 LCPUFA, respectively. Neutrophil phospholipid fatty acids, serum thromboxane B2 (TXB2), stimulated monocyte production of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha) were measured. During the intervention, the total intakes of n-3 LCPUFA from the background diet and the supplements were 199 mg/d and 173 mg/day for the NZGLM and FO groups, respectively. Following six weeks of supplementation, both groups showed a small, but significant increase in neutrophil phospholipid proportion of eicosapentaenoic acid. The NZGLM group also showed a significant increase in docosahexaenoic acid levels. There were no significant changes with time or treatment for TXB2, PGE2, IL-1 beta or TNFalpha. This study showed that low dose supplementation with n-3 LCPUFA from two different marine oil preparations showed no difference in inflammatory markers in this group of healthy individuals. Further studies are warranted including dose response trials and studies in populations with inflammatory conditions.

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