Comparison of the effects of fish and fish-oil capsules on the n-3 fatty acid content of blood cells and plasma phospholipids

William Harris, James V. Pottala, Scott A. Sands, Philip G. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

124 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: n-3 Fatty acids (FAs) have been shown to be beneficial for cardiovascular health. Whether n-3 FAs from oily fish consumed weekly or from fish-oil capsules taken daily are equally bioavailable is not clear. Objective: The purpose of this study was to compare the rate and extent of enrichment of blood cell membranes [ie, red blood cells (RBCs)] and plasma phospholipids with n-3 FAs from these 2 sources. Design: Healthy premenopausal female volunteers were randomly assigned to consume a daily average of 485 mg eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA) acids either from 2 servings of oily fish (ie, salmon and albacore tuna) per week or from 1-2 capsules/d. Results: After 16 wk, EPA + DHA in RBCs in the fish group (n = 11) increased from 4.0 ± 0.6% of total FAs to 6.2 ± 1.4%, whereas it rose from 4.3 ± 1.0% to 6.2 ± 1.4% in the capsule group (P <0.0001 for both; NS for group effect). Similar results were observed in plasma phospholipids. EPA + DHA stabilized in the latter after 4 wk but continued to rise through week 16 in RBCs. EPA in RBCs increased significantly (P = 0.01) more rapidly in the fish group than in the capsule group during the first 4 wk, but rates did not differ significantly between groups thereafter. Total FA variances were less in RBCs than in plasma phospholipids (P = 0.04). Conclusion: These findings suggest that the consumption of equal amounts of EPA and DHA from oily fish on a weekly basis or from fish-oil capsules on a daily basis is equally effective at enriching blood lipids with n-3 FAs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1621-1625
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Volume86
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2007
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Fish Oils
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
blood cells
blood plasma
fish oils
omega-3 fatty acids
Capsules
Blood Cells
Phospholipids
phospholipids
Fishes
erythrocytes
fatty fish
Erythrocytes
fatty acid composition
fish
Fatty Acids
Tuna
Thunnus alalunga
fatty acids

Keywords

  • Docosahexaenoic acid
  • Eicosapentaenoic acid
  • Erythrocytes
  • Fish
  • Fish oil
  • n-3 fatty acids
  • Phospholipids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science

Cite this

Comparison of the effects of fish and fish-oil capsules on the n-3 fatty acid content of blood cells and plasma phospholipids. / Harris, William; Pottala, James V.; Sands, Scott A.; Jones, Philip G.

In: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 86, No. 6, 01.12.2007, p. 1621-1625.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Harris, William ; Pottala, James V. ; Sands, Scott A. ; Jones, Philip G. / Comparison of the effects of fish and fish-oil capsules on the n-3 fatty acid content of blood cells and plasma phospholipids. In: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2007 ; Vol. 86, No. 6. pp. 1621-1625.
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AU - Pottala, James V.

AU - Sands, Scott A.

AU - Jones, Philip G.

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N2 - Background: n-3 Fatty acids (FAs) have been shown to be beneficial for cardiovascular health. Whether n-3 FAs from oily fish consumed weekly or from fish-oil capsules taken daily are equally bioavailable is not clear. Objective: The purpose of this study was to compare the rate and extent of enrichment of blood cell membranes [ie, red blood cells (RBCs)] and plasma phospholipids with n-3 FAs from these 2 sources. Design: Healthy premenopausal female volunteers were randomly assigned to consume a daily average of 485 mg eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA) acids either from 2 servings of oily fish (ie, salmon and albacore tuna) per week or from 1-2 capsules/d. Results: After 16 wk, EPA + DHA in RBCs in the fish group (n = 11) increased from 4.0 ± 0.6% of total FAs to 6.2 ± 1.4%, whereas it rose from 4.3 ± 1.0% to 6.2 ± 1.4% in the capsule group (P <0.0001 for both; NS for group effect). Similar results were observed in plasma phospholipids. EPA + DHA stabilized in the latter after 4 wk but continued to rise through week 16 in RBCs. EPA in RBCs increased significantly (P = 0.01) more rapidly in the fish group than in the capsule group during the first 4 wk, but rates did not differ significantly between groups thereafter. Total FA variances were less in RBCs than in plasma phospholipids (P = 0.04). Conclusion: These findings suggest that the consumption of equal amounts of EPA and DHA from oily fish on a weekly basis or from fish-oil capsules on a daily basis is equally effective at enriching blood lipids with n-3 FAs.

AB - Background: n-3 Fatty acids (FAs) have been shown to be beneficial for cardiovascular health. Whether n-3 FAs from oily fish consumed weekly or from fish-oil capsules taken daily are equally bioavailable is not clear. Objective: The purpose of this study was to compare the rate and extent of enrichment of blood cell membranes [ie, red blood cells (RBCs)] and plasma phospholipids with n-3 FAs from these 2 sources. Design: Healthy premenopausal female volunteers were randomly assigned to consume a daily average of 485 mg eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA) acids either from 2 servings of oily fish (ie, salmon and albacore tuna) per week or from 1-2 capsules/d. Results: After 16 wk, EPA + DHA in RBCs in the fish group (n = 11) increased from 4.0 ± 0.6% of total FAs to 6.2 ± 1.4%, whereas it rose from 4.3 ± 1.0% to 6.2 ± 1.4% in the capsule group (P <0.0001 for both; NS for group effect). Similar results were observed in plasma phospholipids. EPA + DHA stabilized in the latter after 4 wk but continued to rise through week 16 in RBCs. EPA in RBCs increased significantly (P = 0.01) more rapidly in the fish group than in the capsule group during the first 4 wk, but rates did not differ significantly between groups thereafter. Total FA variances were less in RBCs than in plasma phospholipids (P = 0.04). Conclusion: These findings suggest that the consumption of equal amounts of EPA and DHA from oily fish on a weekly basis or from fish-oil capsules on a daily basis is equally effective at enriching blood lipids with n-3 FAs.

KW - Docosahexaenoic acid

KW - Eicosapentaenoic acid

KW - Erythrocytes

KW - Fish

KW - Fish oil

KW - n-3 fatty acids

KW - Phospholipids

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