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Nutrients. 2019 Jun 19;11(6). pii: E1381. doi: 10.3390/nu11061381.

Mussel Consumption as a "Food First" Approach to Improve Omega-3 Status.

Author information

1
Faculty of Natural Sciences Institute of Aquaculture, University of Stirling, Pathfoot Building, Stirling, FK9 4LA, UK. stefano.carboni@stir.ac.uk.
2
Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN), School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Geelong 3216, Australia. gunveen.kaur@deakin.edu.au.
3
Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport, Physiology, Exercise and Nutrition Research Group, University of Stirling, Cottrell Building, Stirling, FK9 4LA, UK. apryce202@caledonian.ac.uk.
4
Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport, Physiology, Exercise and Nutrition Research Group, University of Stirling, Cottrell Building, Stirling, FK9 4LA, UK. KyleM0419@live.com.
5
Faculty of Natural Sciences Institute of Aquaculture, University of Stirling, Pathfoot Building, Stirling, FK9 4LA, UK. andrew.desbois@stir.ac.uk.
6
Faculty of Natural Sciences Institute of Aquaculture, University of Stirling, Pathfoot Building, Stirling, FK9 4LA, UK. j.r.dick@stir.ac.uk.
7
Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport, Physiology, Exercise and Nutrition Research Group, University of Stirling, Cottrell Building, Stirling, FK9 4LA, UK. s.d.r.galloway@stir.ac.uk.
8
Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN), School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Geelong 3216, Australia. lee.hamilton@deakin.edu.au.
9
Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport, Physiology, Exercise and Nutrition Research Group, University of Stirling, Cottrell Building, Stirling, FK9 4LA, UK. lee.hamilton@deakin.edu.au.

Abstract

Numerous United Kingdom and European Union expert panels recommend that the general adult population consumes ~250 mg of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) per day through the consumption of one portion of oily fish per week. The long-chain omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA are only found in appreciable amounts in marine organisms. Increasing oily fish consumption conflicts with sustaining fisheries, so alternative dietary sources of EPA and DHA must be explored. Mussels are high in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and a good source of essential amino acids. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the impact of introducing mussels as a protein source in the lunchtime meal three times per week for two weeks on the omega-3 status of free-living participants. Following an initial two-week monitoring period, 12 participants (eight male and four female) attended the nutrition laboratory three times per week for two weeks. Each participant received a personalised lunch constituting one-third of their typical daily calorie consumption with ~20% of the calories supplied as cooked mussels. A portion of cooked mussels from each feeding occasion was tested for total omega-3 content. The mean ± SD mussel EPA + DHA content was 518.9 ± 155.7 mg/100 g cooked weight, meaning that each participant received on average 709.2 ± 252.6 mg of EPA + DHA per meal or 304.0 ± 108.2 mg of EPA + DHA per day. Blood spot analysis revealed a significant increase in the omega-3 index (week 1 = 4.27 ± 0.81; week 4 = 5.07 ± 1.00) and whole blood EPA content during the study (%EPA week 1 = 0.70 ± 0.0.35; %EPA week 4 = 0.98 ± 0.35). Consuming mussels three times per week for two weeks as the protein source in a personalised lunchtime meal is sufficient to moderately improve the omega-3 index and whole blood DHA + EPA content in young healthy adults.

KEYWORDS:

Mytilus edulis; docosahexaenoic acid (DHA); eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA); mussels; n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs); nutrition; omega-3 fatty acids; omega-3 index; sustainability

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