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Eur J Clin Nutr. 2018 Jun;72(6):832-840. doi: 10.1038/s41430-018-0174-2. Epub 2018 May 30.

Effect of supplementation with flaxseed oil and different doses of fish oil for 2 weeks on plasma phosphatidylcholine fatty acids in young women.

Author information

1
Department of Human Nutrition, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. leanne.hodson@ocdem.ox.ac.uk.
2
Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism (OCDEM), University of Oxford, Churchill Hospital, Oxford, OX3 7LE, UK. leanne.hodson@ocdem.ox.ac.uk.
3
Department of Human Nutrition, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.
4
Institute of Applied Health Research, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK.

Abstract

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES:

Although assumed, it remains unclear that fatty acid (FA) biomarkers of n-3 long-chain PUFA reflect wide ranges of intake. However, to be utilised as biomarkers, to predict dietary intake, dose-response curves that cover a spectrum of intakes are required. The aim of the study was to investigate whether the FA composition of plasma phosphatidylcholine (PC) is a sensitive biomarker of n-3 FAs from fish oil, across a range of supplementation doses, and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) supplementation, in young, healthy women.

SUBJECTS/METHODS:

A total of 303 young women were randomised to intakes ranging between 0.33 and 4.50 g EPA+DHA/day from fish oil (not all doses used in each year) or flaxseed oil (5.90-6.60 g/d) daily for 14 days in a series of trials, over 5 years. Fasting blood was collected at baseline (day 0) and day 14 and plasma PC FA composition, total and HDL-cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations measured.

RESULTS:

Fourteen days supplementation with fish oil significantly (P < 0.01) increased, in a dose-dependent fashion, plasma PC EPA, DPA and DHA at all doses except 1 and 3 mL/day. For the combined group of women who consumed any fish oil there was a 16% (P < 0.01) decrease in plasma triacylglycerol concentrations after 14 days supplementation. Flaxseed oil supplementation for 14 day resulted in significant (P < 0.01) increases in ALA, EPA and DPA, whilst DHA remained unchanged.

CONCLUSION:

Our data demonstrate plasma PC is a sensitive biomarker of n-3 FA intake and reflects changes within 14 days across a range of intakes.

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