Red blood cell oleic acid levels reflect olive oil intake while omega-3 levels reflect fish intake and the use of omega-3 acid ethyl esters: The Gruppo Italiano per lo Studio della Sopravvivenza nell'Infarto Miocardico–Heart Failure trial

William S. Harris, William Harris, Serge Masson, Simona Barlera, Valentina Milani, Silvana Pileggi, Maria Grazia Franzosi, Gianni Tognoni, Roberto Latini, Roberto Marchioli, Luigi Tavazzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Gruppo Italiano per lo Studio della Sopravvivenza nell'Infarto Miocardico–Heart Failure (GISSI-HF) study reported benefits of n-3 fatty acid (FA) treatment on cardiovascular (CV) events, but the effects of treatment on a putative CV disease risk factor, the red blood cell (RBC) n-3 FA level (the omega-3 index), have not been examined in this context. We hypothesized that treatment with prescription omega-3 acid ethyl esters (O3AEE) would increase the omega-3 index to the proposed cardioprotective value of 8%. RBCs were collected from a subset of patients participating in the GISSI-HF study (n=461 out of 6975 randomized), at baseline and after 3 months of treatment with either an olive oil placebo or O3AEE (1 g/d). RBC FA levels were expressed as a percentage of total FA. Patients also reported their typical olive oil and fish intakes. RBC oleic acid levels were directly correlated with reported frequency of olive oil consumption, and the omega-3 index was correlated with reported fish intake (P for trends <0.001 for both). After treatment, the omega-3 index increased from 4.8±1.7% to 6.7±1.9% but was unchanged in the placebo group (4.7±1.7 to 4.8±1.5%) (P<.0001 for changes between groups). At 3 months, more patients reached the proposed target omega-3 index level of 8%-12% in the treated vs placebo group (22.6% vs. 1.3%, P<.0001), however, what omega-3 index levels were ultimately achieved after four years in this trial are unknown.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)989-994
Number of pages6
JournalNutrition Research
Volume36
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Biomarker
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Fish
  • Heart failure
  • Olive oil
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Omega-3 index

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Medicine(all)
  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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