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Dose-dependent effects of docosahexaenoic acid-rich fish oil on erythrocyte docosahexaenoic acid and blood lipid levels

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posted on 01.05.2008, 00:00 authored by Catherine MilteCatherine Milte, A Coates, J Buckley, A Hill, P Howe
Consumption of long-chain n-3 PUFA, particularly DHA, has been shown to improve cardiovascular risk factors but the intake required to achieve benefits is unclear. We sought to determine the relationship between DHA intake, increases in erythrocyte DHA content and changes in blood lipids. A total of sixty-seven subjects (thirty-six male, thirty-one female, mean age 53 years) with fasting serum TAG ≥ 1·1 mmol/l and BMI>25 kg/m2 completed a 12-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled parallel intervention. Subjects consumed 2, 4 or 6 g/d of DHA-rich fish oil (26 % DHA, 6 % EPA) or a placebo (Sunola oil). Fasting blood lipid concentrations and fatty acid profiles in erythrocyte membranes were assessed at baseline and after 6 and 12 weeks. For every 1 g/d increase in DHA intake, there was a 23 % reduction in TAG (mean baseline concentration 1·9 (sem 0·1) mmol/l), 4·4 % increase in HDL-cholesterol and 7·1 % increase in LDL-cholesterol. Erythrocyte DHA content increased in proportion to the dose of DHA consumed (r 0·72, P < 0·001) and the increase after 12 weeks was linearly related to reductions in TAG (r − 0·38, P < 0·01) and increases in total cholesterol (r 0·39, P < 0·01), LDL-cholesterol (r 0·33, P < 0·01) and HDL-cholesterol (r 0·30, P = 0·02). The close association between incorporation of DHA in erythrocytes and its effects on serum lipids highlights the importance of erythrocyte DHA as an indicator of cardiovascular health status.

History

Journal

British journal of nutrition : an international journal of nutritional science

Volume

99

Issue

5

Pagination

1083 - 1088

Publisher

Cambridge University Press

Location

Cambridge, England

ISSN

0007-1145

eISSN

1475-2662

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2008, Cambridge University Press