Title

Randomized controlled trial examining the effects of fish oil and multivitamin supplementation on the incorporation of n-3 and n-6 fatty acids into red blood cells

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Pipingas, A, Cockerell, R, Grima, N, Sinclair, A, Stough, C, Scholey, A, Myers, S, Croft, K, Sali, A & Pase, MP 2014, 'Randomized controlled trial examining the effects of fish oil and multivitamin supplementation on the incorporation of n-3 and n-6 fatty acids into red blood cells', Nutrients, vol. 6, no. 5, pp. 1956-1970.

Article available on Open Access

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

The present randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, parallel-groups clinical trial examined the effects of fish oil and multivitamin supplementation on the incorporation of n-3 and n-6 fatty acids into red blood cells. Healthy adult humans (n = 160) were randomized to receive 6 g of fish oil, 6 g of fish oil plus a multivitamin, 3 g of fish oil plus a multivitamin or a placebo daily for 16 weeks. Treatment with 6 g of fish oil, with or without a daily multivitamin, led to higher eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) composition at endpoint. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) composition was unchanged following treatment. The long chain LC n-3 PUFA index was only higher, compared to placebo, in the group receiving the combination of 6 g of fish oil and the multivitamin. Analysis by gender revealed that all treatments increased EPA incorporation in females while, in males, EPA was only significantly increased by the 6 g fish oil multivitamin combination. There was considerable individual variability in the red blood cell incorporation of EPA and DHA at endpoint. Gender contributed to a large proportion of this variability with females generally showing higher LC n-3 PUFA composition at endpoint. In conclusion, the incorporation of LC n-3 PUFA into red blood cells was influenced by dosage, the concurrent intake of vitamin/minerals and gender.