Skip to main content

Advertisement

Log in

Incorporation of n-3 fatty acids into plasma lipid fractions, and erythrocyte membranes and platelets during dietary supplementation with fish, fish oil, and docosahexaenoic acid-rich oil among healthy young men

  • Published:
Lipids

Abstract

The effects of n-3 fatty acid supplementation in the form of fresh fish, fish oil, and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) oil on the fatty acid composition of plasma lipid fractions, and platelets and erythrocyte membranes of young healthy male students were examined. Altogether 59 subjects (aged 19–32 yr, body mass index 16.8–31.3 kg/m2) were randomized into the following diet groups: (i) control group; (ii) fish diet group eating fish meals five times per week [0.38±0.04 g eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and 0.67±0.09 g DHA per day]; (iii) DHA oil group taking algae-derived DHA oil capsules (1.68 g/d DHA oil group taking algae-derived DHA oil capsules (1.68 g/d DHA in triglyceride form); and (iv) fish oil group (1.33 g EPA and 0.95 g DHA/d as free fatty acids) for 14 wk. The fatty acid composition of plasma lipids, platelets, and erythrocyte membranes was analyzed by gas chromatography. The subjects kept 4-d food records four times during the study to estimate the intake of nutrients. In the fish diet, in DHA oil, and in fish oil groups, the amounts of n-3 fatty acids increased and those of n-6 fatty acids decreased significantly in plasma lipid fractions and in platelets and erythrocyte membranes. A positive relationship was shown between the total n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and EPA and DHA intake and the increase in total n-3 PUFA and EPA and DHA in all lipid fractions analyzed. DHA was preferentially incorporated into phospholipid (PL) and triglyceride (TG) and there was very little uptake in cholesterol ester (CE), while EPA was preferentially incorporated into PL and CE. The proportion of EPA in plasma lipids and platelets and erythrocyte membranes increased also by DHA supplementation, and the proportion of linoleic acid increased in platelets and erythrocyte membranes in the DHA oil group as well. These results suggest retroconversion of DHA to EPA and that DHA also interferes with linoleic acid metabolism.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others

Abbreviations

BMI:

body mass index

CE:

cholesterol ester

DHA:

docosahexaenoic acid

EPA:

ercosapentaenoic acid

MUFA:

monounsaturated fatty acids

PL:

phospholipid

PUFA:

polyunsaturated fatty acids

SFA:

saturated fatty acids

TG:

triglyceride

References

  1. Goodnight, S.H., Harris, W.S., Connor, W.E., and Illingworth, D.R. (1982) Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids, Hyperlipidemia, and Thrombosis, Arteriosclerosis 2, 87–113.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Ahrens, E.H., Insull, W., Hirsch, J., Stoffel, W., Peterson, M.L., Farquhar, J.W., Miller, T., and Thomasson, H.J. (1959) The Effect on Human Serum Lipids of a Dietary Fat, Highly Unsaturated, But Poor in Essential Fatty Acids, Lancet 1, 115–119.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. Illingworth, D.R., Harris, W.S., and Connor, W.E. (1984) Inhibition of Low Density Lipoprotein Synthesis by Dietary Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Humans, Arteriosclerosis 4, 270–275.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Lorenz, R., Spengler, U., Fischer, S., Duhm, J., and Weber, P.C. (1983) Platelet Function, Thromboxane Formation and Blood Pressure Control During Supplementation of the Western Diet with Cod Liver Oil, Circulation 67, 504–511.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Siess, W., Roth, P., Scherer, B., Kurzmann, I., Böhling, B., and Weber, P.C. (1980) Platelet Membrane Fatty Acids, Platelet Aggregation, and Thromboxane Formation During Mackerel Diet, Lancet 1, 442–444.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Terano, T., Hirai, A., Hamazaki, T., Kobayashi, S., Fujita, T., Tamura, Y., and Kumagai, A. (1983) Effect of Oral Administration of Highly Purified Eicosapentaenoic Acid on Platelet Function, Blood Viscosity and Red Cell Deformability in Healthy Human Subjects, Atherosclerosis 46, 321–331.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Dyerberg, J., Bang, H.O., and Hjørne, N. (1975) Fatty Acid Composition of the Plasma Lipids in Greenland Eskimos, Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 28, 958–966.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Von Schacky, C., Fischer, S., and Weber, P.C. (1985) Long-Term Effects of Dietary Marine Omega-3 Fatty Acids Upon Plasma and Cellular Lipids, Platelet Function, and Eicosanoid Formation in Humans, J. Clin. Invest. 76, 1626–1631.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Budowski, P. (1988) ω3 Fatty Acids in Health and Disease, in Aspects of Human Nutrition—World Review of Nutrition and Dietetics (Bourne, G.H., ed.) Vol. 57, pp. 214–274, Karger Basel, Basel.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Nagakawa, Y., Orimo, H., Harasawa, M., Morita, I., Yashiro, K., and Murota, S. (1983) Effect of Eicosapentaenoic Acid on Platelet Aggregation and Composition of Fatty Acid in Man, Atherosclerosis, 47, 71–75.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. Strasser, T., Fischer, S., and Weber, P.C. (1985) Leukotriene B5 Is Formed in Human Neutrophils After Dietary Supplementation with Eicosapentaenoic Acid, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 82, 1540–1543.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. Herold, P.M., and Kinsella, J.E. (1986) Fish Oil Consumption and Decreased Risk of Cardiovascular Disease: A Comparison of Findings from Animal and Human Feeding Trials, Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 43, 566–598.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. Von Schacky, C., Siess, W., Fischer, S., and Weber, P.C. (1985) A Comparative Study of Eicosapentaenoic Acid Metabolism by Human Platelets in vivo and in vitro, J. Lipid Res. 26, 457–464.

    Google Scholar 

  14. Bruckner, G., Webb, P., Greenwell, L., Show, C., and Richardson, D. (1987) Fish Oil Increases Peripheral Capillary Blood Cell Velocity in Humans, Atherosclerosis 66, 237–245.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  15. Chee, K.M., Gong, J.X., Rees, D.M.G., Meydani, M., Ausman, L., Johnson, J., Siguel, E.N., and Schaefer, E.J. (1990) Fatty Acid Content of Marine Oil Capsules, Lipids 25, 523–528.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  16. Ågren, J.J., Hänninen, O., Julkunen, A., Fågelholm, L., Vidgren, H., Schwab, U., Pynnönen, O., and Uusitupa, M. (1996) Fish Diet, Fish Oil and Docosahexaenoic Diet-Rich Oil Lower Fasting and Postprandial Plasma Lipid Levels, Eur. J. Clin. Nutr. 50, 765–771.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  17. Rastas, M., Seppänen, R., Knuts, L.-R., Karvetti, R.-L., and Varo, P. (1990) Nutrient Composition of Foods, 3rd edn., Publications of the Social Insurance Institution (in Finnish), Helsinki.

    Google Scholar 

  18. Folch, J., Lees, M., and Sloane-Stanley, G.H. (1957) A Simple Method for the Isolation and Purification of Total Lipids from Animal Tissues, J. Biol. Chem. 226, 497–509.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  19. Ågren, J.J., Julkunen, A., and Penttilä, I. (1992) Rapid Separation of Serum Lipids for Fatty Acid Analysis by a Single Aminopropyl Column, J. Lipid Res. 33, 1871–1876.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  20. Boberg, M., Vessby, B., and Selinus, I. (1986) Effects of Dietary Supplementation with n-6 and n-3 Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids on Serum Lipoproteins and Platelet Function in Hypertriglyceridaemic Patients, Acta Med. Scand. 220, 153–160.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  21. Holub, B.J., Bakker, D.J., and Skeaff, C.M. (1987) Alterations in Molecular Species of Cholesteryl Esters Formed via Plasma Lecithin-Cholesterol Acyltransferase in Human Subjects Consuming Fish Oil, Atherosclerosis 66, 11–18.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  22. Nikkari, T., Luukkainen, P., Pietinen, P., and Puska, P. (1995) Fatty Acid Composition of Serum Lipid Fractions in Relation to Gender and Quality of Dietary Fat, Ann. Med. 9, 491–498.

    Google Scholar 

  23. Bjerve, K.S., Brubakk, A.M., Fougner, K.J., Johnsen, H., Midthjell, K., and Vik, T. (1993) Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Essential Fatty Acids with Important Biological Effects, and Serum Phospholipid Fatty Acids as Markers of Dietary ω3-Fatty Acid Intake, Am. J. Clin. Nutr. (suppl.) 57, 801–806.

    Google Scholar 

  24. Harris, W.S. (1989) Fish Oils and Plasma Lipid and Lipoprotein Metabolism in Humans: A Critical Review, J. Lipid Res. 30, 785–807.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  25. Bønaa, K.H., Bjerve, K.S., and Nordøy, A. (1992) Habitual Fish Consumption, Plasma Phospholipid Fatty Acids, and Serum Lipids: The Tromsø Study, Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 55, 1126–1134.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  26. Bønaa, K. (1989) Epidemiological and Intervention Studies on the Effect of Marine Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids on Blood Pressure, J. Intern. Med. 225 (suppl. 1), 105–110.

    Google Scholar 

  27. Svensson, B-G., Åkesson, B., Nilsson, A., and Skerfving, S. (1993) Fatty Acid Composition of Serum Phosphatidylcholine in Healthy Subjects Consuming Varying Amounts of Fish, Eur. J. Clin. Nutr. 47, 132–140.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  28. Ekström, B., Nilsson, A., and Åkesson, B. (1989) Lipolysis of Polyenoic Fatty Acid Esters of Human Chylomicrons by Lipoprotein Lipase, Eur. J. Clin. Invest. 19, 259–264.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  29. Sanders, T.A., Vickers, M., and Haines, A.P. (1981) Effect on Blood Lipids and Haemostasis of a Supplement of Cod-Liver Oil, Rich in Eicosapentaenoic and Docosahexaenoic Acids, in Healthy Young Men, Clin. Sci. 61, 317–324.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  30. Ågren, J.J., Hänninen, O., Hänninen, A., and Seppänen, K. (1990) Dose Responses in Platelet Fatty Acid Composition, Aggregation and Prostanoid Metabolism During Moderate Freshwater Fish Diet, Thromb. Res. 57, 565–575.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  31. Blonk, M.C., Bilo, H.J., Nauta, J.J., Popp-Snijders, C., Mulder, C., and Donker, A.J. (1990) Dose-Response Effects of Fish-Oil Supplementation in Healthy Volunteers, Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 52, 120–127.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  32. Grønn, M., Christensen, E., Hagve, T.A., and Christophersen, B.O. (1990) The Zellweger Sydrome: Deficient Conversion of Docosahexaenoic Acid (20:5n-3) to Eicosapentaenoic Acid (20:5n-3) and Normal Delta 4-Desaturase Activity in Cultured Skin Fibroblasts, Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1044, 249–254.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  33. Grønn, M., Christensen, E., Hagve, T.-A., and Christophersen, B.O. (1991) Peroxisomal Retroconversion of Docosahexaenoic Acid (22:6n-3) to Eicosapentaenoic Acid (20:5n-3) Studied in Isolated Rat Liver Cells, Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1081, 85–91.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  34. Schlenk, H., Sand, D.M., and Gellerman, J.L. (1969) Retroconversion of Docosahexaenoic Acid in the Rat, Biochim. Biophys. Acta 187, 201–207.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  35. Anderson, G.J., Connor, W.E., and Corliss, J.D. (1990) Docosahexaenoic Acid Is the Preferred Dietary n-3 Fatty Acid for the Development of the Brain and Retina, Pediatr. Res. 27, 89–97.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  36. Robinson, D.R., Xu, L.-L., Knoell, C.T., Tateno, S., and Olesiak, W. (1993) Modification of Spleen Phospholipid Fatty Acid Composition by Dietary Fish Oil and n-3 Fatty Acid Ethyl Esters, J. Lipid Res. 34, 1423–1434.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  37. Hadjiagapiou, C., and Spector, A.A. (1987) Docosahexaenoic Acid Metabolism and Effect on Prostacyclin Production in Endothelial Cells, Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 253, 1–12.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  38. Yorek, M.A., Bohnker, R.R., Dudley, D.T., and Spector, A.A. (1984) Comparative Utilization of n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids by Cultured Human Y-79 Retinoblastoma Cells, Biochim. Biophys. Acta. 795, 277–285.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  39. Farquhar, J.W., and Ahrens, E.H. (1963) Effects of Dietary Fats on Human Erythrocyte Fatty Acid Patterns, J. Clin. Invest. 42, 75–85.

    Google Scholar 

  40. Thorngren, M., Nilsson, E., and Gustafson, A. (1986) Plasma Lipoprotein and Fatty Acid Composition During a Moderate Eicosapentaenoic Acid Diet, Acta Med. Scand. 219, 23–28.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  41. van Houwelingen, A.C., Hornstra, G., Kromhout, D., and de-Lezenne-Coulander, C. (1989) Habitual Fish Consumption, Fatty Acids of Serum Phospholipids and Platelet Function, Atherosclerosis 75, 157–165.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  42. Gibson, R.A., and Sinclair, A.J. (1981) Are Eskimos Obligate Carnivores? Lancet 1, 1100 (letter).

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  43. Actis Dato, S.M., and Brenner, R.R. (1970) Comparative Effects of Docosa-4,7,10,13,16-Pentaenoic and Docosa-4,7,10,13,16, 19-Hexaenoic Acid on the Desaturation of Linoleic and α-Linolenic Acid, Lipids 5, 1013–1015.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  44. Brenner, R.R., and Peluffo, R.O. (1983) Effects of Saturated and Unsaturated Fatty Acids on the Desaturation in vitro of Palmitic, Stearic, Oleic, Linoleic and Linolenic Acids, J. Biol. Chem. 113, 217–222.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Helvi M. Vidgren.

About this article

Cite this article

Vidgren, H.M., Ågren, J.J., Schwab, U. et al. Incorporation of n-3 fatty acids into plasma lipid fractions, and erythrocyte membranes and platelets during dietary supplementation with fish, fish oil, and docosahexaenoic acid-rich oil among healthy young men. Lipids 32, 697–705 (1997). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11745-997-0089-x

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11745-997-0089-x

Keywords

Navigation