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Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2010 Sep;83(3):143-50. doi: 10.1016/j.plefa.2010.06.006. Epub 2010 Jul 14.

Is marine mammal fat or fish intake most strongly associated with omega-3 blood levels among the Nunavik Inuit?

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  • 1Axe Santé des Populations et Environnement, Centre Hospitalier de l'Université Laval (CHUL-CHUQ), Delta Building #2 - Office 600, 2875 Laurier Blvd., 6th Floor, Que., Canada G1V 2M2.


Here we determined the relationship between red blood cell (RBC) omega-3 (n-3) long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs) and usual dietary marine food product intake among 630 Nunavik Inuit adults. Marine food product intake was determined by a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) and fatty acids were quantified in RBC membranes. Multiple linear regression was undertaken to determine the relationship between marine food product intake and RBC n-3 LC-PUFAs (dependent variable). Mean RBC n-3 LC-PUFA level was 9.16 ± 0.11% [SEM]. The highest correlations noted with RBC n-3 LC-PUFAs were for marine mammal fat (r(s)=0.41, P<0.0001) and fish (r(s)=0.35, P<0.0001). Age, total marine mammal fat and fish intakes were the variables that contributed the most to predicted RBC n-3 LC-PUFAs and explained 34%, 15% and 5%, respectively, of its variances. Our study indicates that marine mammal fat intake is more important than fish in accounting for RBC n-3 LC-PUFA levels among the Nunavik Inuit.

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