Some studies have suggested an association between omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LC PUFAs) and better cognitive outcomes in older adults. To date, only two randomised, controlled trials have assessed the effect of n-3 LC PUFA supplementation on cognitive function in older cognitively healthy populations. Of these trials only one found a benefit, in the subgroup carrying the ApoE-ε4 allele. The benefits of n-3 LC PUFA supplementation on cognitive function in older normal populations thus still remain unclear. The main objective of the current study was to provide a comprehensive assessment of the potential of n-3 LC PUFAs to slow cognitive decline in normal elderly people, and included ApoE-ε4 allele carriage as a potential moderating factor. The detailed methodology of the trial is reported herein.
The study was a parallel, 18-month, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled intervention with assessment at baseline and repeated 6-monthly. Participants (N = 391, 53.7% female) aged 65-90 years, English-speaking and with normal cognitive function, were recruited from metropolitan Adelaide, South Australia. Participants in the intervention arm received capsules containing fish-oil at a daily dosage of 1720 mg of docosahexaenoic acid and 600 mg of eicosapentaenoic acid while the placebo arm received the equivalent amount of olive oil in their capsules. The primary outcome is rate of change in cognitive performance, as measured by latent variables for the cognitive constructs (encompassing Reasoning, Working Memory, Short-term Memory, Retrieval Fluency, Inhibition, Simple and Choice-Reaction Time, Perceptual Speed, Odd-man-out Reaction Time, Speed of Memory Scanning, and Psychomotor Speed) and assessed by latent growth curve modeling. Secondary outcomes are change in the Mini-mental State Examination, functional capacity and well-being (including health status, depression, mood, and self-report cognitive functioning), blood pressure, and biomarkers of n-3 LC PUFA status, glucose, lipid metabolism, inflammation, oxidative stress, and DNA damage.
Australia and New Zealand Clinical Trials Register (ANZCTR): ACTRN12607000278437
The influence of dietary long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (LCP) supply, and especially of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), on evoked potential maturation, was studied in 58 healthy preterm infants using flash visual evoked potentials (VEPs), flash electroretinography (ERG), and brainstem acoustic evoked potentials (BAEPs) at 52 weeks of postconceptional age. At the same time, the fatty acid composition of red blood cell membranes was examined. The infants were fed on breast milk (n = 12), a preterm formula supplemented with LCP (PF-LCP) (n = 21), or a traditional preterm formula (PF) (n = 25). In the breast milk and PF-LCP groups the morphology and latencies of the waves that reflect the visual projecting system were similar; in the PF group the morphology was quite different and the wave latencies were significantly longer. This could mean that the maturation pattern of VEPs in preterm infants who did not receive LCP was slower. Moreover, a higher level of erythrocyte LCP, especially DHA, was found in breast milk and PF-LCP groups compared with the PF group. ERG and BAEP recordings were the same in all three groups. These results suggest that a well balanced LCP supplement in preterm formulas can positively influence the maturation of visual evoked potentials in preterm infants when breast milk is not available.
There is evidence to support the use of supplementation with long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCn-3PUFA) from oily fish or fish oil for the treatment of various inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive, terminal disease characterized by persistent airflow limitation, lung and systemic inflammation. To date, one randomized controlled trial has been published that assessed the efficacy of LCn-3PUFA in people with this condition. The aim of this article is to discuss the feasibility of conducting a trial to evaluate fish oil supplementation as adjunct therapy in people with COPD.
A 16-week parallel, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled dietary supplementation trial will be evaluated. Forty participants meeting spirometric and clinical criteria for COPD will be recruited from metropolitan Adelaide, South Australia. Participants will be randomized by minimization, based on a score derived from the modified Medical Research Council Scale for breathlessness, to receive 6 g/day of fish oil (approximately 3.6 g/day of LCn-3PUFA), or placebo (6 g/day of corn oil) capsules. Feasibility outcomes (recruitment, retention, supplement adherence, and time lost to exacerbation) and scientific outcomes (effect size and estimates of variance for inflammatory biomarkers, incorporation of LCn-3PUFA into erythrocytes, small airways function, dyspnea and functional exercise capacity) will be assessed pre- and post-intervention. Key feasibility criteria include recruitment of 40 participants in 52 weeks, 75% participant retention rate, 2% increase in the proportion of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids in erythrocytes, and a positive moderate effect size in at least three efficacy measures.
There are a number of challenges in designing supplementation intervention studies with this population. These include the lack of prior data from which to select appropriate primary outcomes or to estimate effect sizes, and the feasibility of continuous supplementation in a population characterized by multiple comorbidities and a high likelihood of exacerbations, potentially requiring hospitalization or change in medication. Upon completion of this protocol, feasibility outcomes will guide the direction of future multicentre dietary interventions in this population.
Australia and New Zealand Clinical Trials Register (ANZCTR): ACTRN12612000158864
Higher long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCP) in infant compared with maternal lipids at delivery is named biomagnification. The decline of infant and maternal docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) status during lactation in Western countries suggests maternal depletion. We investigated whether biomagnification persists at lifelong high fish intakes and whether the latter prevents a postpartum decline of infant and/or maternal DHA status.
We studied 3 Tanzanian tribes with low (Maasai: 0/week), intermediate (Pare: 2–3/week), and high (Sengerema: 4–5/week) fish intakes. DHA and arachidonic acid (AA) were determined in maternal (m) and infant (i) erythrocytes (RBC) during pregnancy (1st trimester n = 14, 2nd = 103, 3rd = 88), and in mother–infant pairs at delivery (n = 63) and at 3 months postpartum (n = 104).
At delivery, infants of all tribes had similar iRBC-AA which was higher than, and unrelated to, mRBC-AA. Transplacental DHA biomagnification occurred up to 5.6 g% mRBC-DHA; higher mRBC-DHA was associated with “bioattenuation” (i.e., iRBC-DHA < mRBC-DHA). Compared to delivery, mRBC-AA after 3 months was higher, while iRBC-AA was lower. mRBC-DHA after 3 months was lower, while iRBC-DHA was lower (low fish intake), equal (intermediate fish intake), and higher (high fish intake) compared to delivery. We estimated that postpartum iRBC-DHA equilibrium is reached at 5.9 g%, which corresponds to a mRBC-DHA of 6.1 g% throughout pregnancy.
Uniform high iRBC-AA at delivery might indicate the importance of intrauterine infant AA status. Biomagnification reflects low maternal DHA status, and bioattenuation may prevent intrauterine competition of DHA with AA. A mRBC-DHA of about 6 g% during pregnancy predicts maternal–fetal equilibrium at delivery, postnatal iRBC-DHA equilibrium, but is unable to prevent a postnatal mRBC-DHA decline.
Biomagnification; Bioattenuation; Pregnancy; Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids; Docosahexaenoic acid; Arachidonic acid; Equilibrium
To determine the biochemical effects of the fatty acid composition of plasma lipids, two groups of 10 healthy full term infants who were either exclusively breast fed or received a formula with similar contents of linoleic and alpha linolenic acids, but without long chain polyunsaturated (LCP) fatty acids, were studied prospectively. Plasma phospholipid, triglyceride, and sterol ester fatty acids were determined at the age of 2, 4, and 8 weeks by high resolution capillary gas chromatography. Breast fed infants maintained stable LCP fatty acid concentrations throughout the study. Formula fed infants had significantly lower median values of arachidonic acid (AA) at the ages of 2 (6.9 v 9.5% wt/wt) and 4 weeks (5.9 v 7.9%) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) at the ages of 4 (1.1 v 1.7%) and 8 weeks (1.0 v 1.7%) in plasma phospholipids. Median AA values in triglycerides were also significantly lower in the infants receiving formula at the ages of 2 (0.4 v 0.6%) and 4 weeks (0.3 v 0.6%). It is concluded that formula fed full term infants are unable to match the omega-3 and omega-6 LCP status of breast fed full term infants until at least two months after birth.
The main source of n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA) in human nutrition is currently seafood, especially oily fish. Nonetheless, due to cultural or individual preferences, convenience, geographic location, or awareness of risks associated to fatty fish consumption, the intake of fatty fish is far from supplying the recommended dietary levels. The end result observed in most western countries is not only a low supply of n-3 LC-PUFA, but also an unbalance towards the intake of n-6 fatty acids, resulting mostly from the consumption of vegetable oils. Awareness of the benefits of LC-PUFA in human health has led to the use of fish oils as food supplements. However, there is a need to explore alternatives sources of LC-PUFA, especially those of microbial origin. Microalgae species with potential to accumulate lipids in high amounts and to present elevated levels of n-3 LC-PUFA are known in marine phytoplankton. This review focuses on sources of n-3 LC-PUFA, namely eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids, in marine microalgae, as alternatives to fish oils. Based on current literature, examples of marketed products and potentially new species for commercial exploitation are presented.
marine microalgae; n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids; EPA; DHA
Higher plasma n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) have been associated with a lower risk of age related cognitive decline, and to beneficially affect cardiometabolic risk factors. A relation exists between metabolic disorders such as diabetes type 2 and cognitive decline. Results regarding the potential effects of n-3 PUFA on risk factors in healthy subjects are divergent, and studies regarding the possible relation between cardiometabolic parameters and cognitive performance are scarce. The objective was to evaluate the effects of five weeks intake of long chain n-3 PUFA on cognitive performance in healthy individuals, and to exploit the possible relation between outcomes in cognitive tests to cardiometabolic risk parameters.
Fish oil n-3 PUFA (3g daily) were consumed during 5weeks separated by a 5 week washout period in a cross-over placebo controlled study, including 40 healthy middle aged to elderly subjects. Cognitive performance was determined by tests measuring working memory (WM) and selective attention.
Supplementation with n-3 PUFA resulted in better performance in the WM-test compared with placebo (p < 0.05). In contrast to placebo, n-3 PUFA lowered plasma triacylglycerides (P < 0.05) and systolic blood pressure (p < 0.0001). Systolic blood pressure (p < 0.05), f-glucose (p = 0.05), and s-TNF-α (p = 0.05), were inversely related to the performance in cognitive tests.
Intake of n-3 PUFA improved cognitive performance in healthy subjects after five weeks compared with placebo. In addition, inverse relations were obtained between cardiometabolic risk factors and cognitive performance, indicating a potential of dietary prevention strategies to delay onset of metabolic disorders and associated cognitive decline.
Omega-3 PUFA; DHA; EPA; Fish oil; Dietary prevention; Cognitive performance; Working memory; Metabolic disorders; Ageing
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is the most abundant long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid in the brain. Epidemiological studies suggest that consumption of DHA is associated with a reduced incidence of Alzheimer disease. Animal studies demonstrate that oral intake of DHA reduces Alzheimer-like brain pathology.
To determine if supplementation with DHA slows cognitive and functional decline in individuals with Alzheimer disease.
Design, Setting, and Patients
A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of DHA supplementation in individuals with mild to moderate Alzheimer disease (Mini-Mental State Examination scores, 14–26) was conducted between November 2007 and May 2009 at 51 US clinical research sites of the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study.
Participants were randomly assigned to algal DHA at a dose of 2 g/d or to identical placebo (60% were assigned to DHA and 40% were assigned to placebo). Duration of treatment was 18 months.
Main Outcome Measures
Change in the cognitive subscale of the Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale (ADAS-cog) and change in the Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) sum of boxes. Rate of brain atrophy was also determined by volumetric magnetic resonance imaging in a subsample of participants (n = 102).
A total of 402 individuals were randomized and a total of 295 participants completed the trial while taking study medication (DHA: 171; placebo: 124). Supplementation with DHA had no beneficial effect on rate of change on ADAS-cog score, which increased by a mean of 7.98 points (95% confidence interval [CI], 6.51–9.45 points) for the DHA group during 18 months vs 8.27 points (95% CI, 6.72–9.82 points) for the placebo group (linear mixed-effects model: P = .41). The CDR sum of boxes score increased by 2.87 points (95% CI, 2.44–3.30 points) for the DHA group during 18 months compared with 2.93 points (95% CI, 2.44–3.42 points) for the placebo group (linear mixed-effects model: P = .68). In the subpopulation of participants (DHA: 53; placebo: 49), the rate of brain atrophy was not affected by treatment with DHA. Individuals in the DHA group had a mean decline in total brain volume of 24.7 cm3 (95% CI, 21.4–28.0 cm3) during 18 months and a 1.32% (95% CI, 1.14%–1.50%) volume decline per year compared with 24.0 cm3 (95% CI, 20–28 cm3) for the placebo group during 18 months and a 1.29% (95% CI, 1.07%–1.51%) volume decline per year (P = .79).
Supplementation with DHA compared with placebo did not slow the rate of cognitive and functional decline in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer disease.
A trial of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in the treatment of multiple sclerosis has been conducted over a 5 year period. Ambulant patients (312) with acute remitting disease were randomly allocated to treatment or placebo. Both groups were given dietary advice to increase the intake of n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids and the treatment group in addition received capsules containing n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Analysis of clinical outcome at the end of 2 years of treatment was made in terms of the duration, frequency and severity of relapses and the number of patients who had improved or remained unchanged. The results showed no significant difference at the usual 95% confidence limits but there was a trend in favour of the group treated with n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in all parameters examined.
Dietary intake of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) is primarily recognized to protect against cardiovascular diseases, cognitive dysfunctions and the onset of obesity and associated metabolic disorders. However, some of their properties such as bioavailability can depend on their chemical carriers. The objective of our study was to test the hypothesis that the nature of n-3 PUFA carrier results in different metabolic effects related to adiposity, oxidative stress and inflammation.
4 groups of C57BL/6 mice were fed for 8 weeks low fat (LF) diet or high-fat (HF, 20%) diets. Two groups of high-fat diets were supplemented with long-chain n-3 PUFA either incorporated in the form of phospholipids (HF-ω3PL) or triacylglycerols (HF-ω3TG).
Both HF-ω3PL and HF-ω3TG diets reduced the plasma concentrations of (i) inflammatory markers such as monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) and interleukin 6 (IL-6), (ii) leptin and (iii) 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal (4-HNE), a marker of n-6 PUFA-derived oxidative stress compared with the control HF diet. Moreover, in both HF-ω3PL and HF-ω3TG groups, MCP-1 and IL-6 gene expressions were decreased in epididymal adipose tissue and the mRNA level of gastrointestinal glutathione peroxidase GPx2, an antioxidant enzyme, was decreased in the jejunum compared with the control HF diet. The type of n-3 PUFA carrier affected other outcomes. The phospholipid form of n-3 PUFA increased the level of tocopherols in epididymal adipose tissue compared with HF-ω3TG and resulted in smaller adipocytes than the two others HF groups. Adipocytes in the HF-ω3PL and LF groups were similar in size distribution.
Supplementation of mice diet with long-chain n-3 PUFA during long-term consumption of high-fat diets had the same lowering effects on inflammation regardless of triacyglycerol or phospholipid carrier, whereas the location of these fatty acids on a PL carrier had a major effect on decreasing the size of adipocytes that was not observed with the triacyglycerol carrier. Altogether, these results would support the development functional foods containing LC n-3 PUFA in the form of PL in order to prevent some deleterious outcomes associated with the development of obesity.
n-3 PUFA; Phospholipid; Triacylglycerol; High-fat diet; Inflammation; Oxidative stress; Adipose tissue
Objective To determine whether dietary n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (LCPUFA) supplementation of pregnant women with a fetus at high risk of allergic disease reduces immunoglobulin E associated eczema or food allergy at 1 year of age.
Design Follow-up of infants at high hereditary risk of allergic disease in the Docosahexaenoic Acid to Optimise Mother Infant Outcome (DOMInO) randomised controlled trial.
Setting Adelaide, South Australia.
Participants 706 infants at high hereditary risk of developing allergic disease whose mothers were participating in the DOMInO trial.
Interventions The intervention group (n=368) was randomly allocated to receive fish oil capsules (providing 900 mg of n-3 LCPUFA daily) from 21 weeks’ gestation until birth; the control group (n=338) received matched vegetable oil capsules without n-3 LCPUFA.
Main outcome measure Immunoglobulin E associated allergic disease (eczema or food allergy with sensitisation) at 1 year of age.
Results No differences were seen in the overall percentage of infants with immunoglobulin E associated allergic disease between the n-3 LCPUFA and control groups (32/368 (9%) v 43/338 (13%); unadjusted relative risk 0.68, 95% confidence interval 0.43 to 1.05, P=0.08; adjusted relative risk 0.70, 0.45 to 1.09, P=0.12), although the percentage of infants diagnosed as having atopic eczema (that is, eczema with associated sensitisation) was lower in the n-3 LCPUFA group (26/368 (7%) v 39/338 (12%); unadjusted relative risk 0.61, 0.38 to 0.98, P=0.04; adjusted relative risk 0.64, 0.40 to 1.02, P=0.06). Fewer infants were sensitised to egg in the n-3 LCPUFA group (34/368 (9%) v 52/338 (15%); unadjusted relative risk 0.61, 0.40 to 0.91, P=0.02; adjusted relative risk 0.62, 0.41 to 0.93, P=0.02), but no difference between groups in immunoglobulin E associated food allergy was seen.
Conclusion n-3 LCPUFA supplementation in pregnancy did not reduce the overall incidence of immunoglobulin E associated allergies in the first year of life, although atopic eczema and egg sensitisation were lower. Longer term follow-up is needed to determine if supplementation has an effect on respiratory allergic diseases and aeroallergen sensitisation in childhood.
Trial registration Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12610000735055 (DOMInO trial: ACTRN12605000569606).
Docosahexaenoic acid is a long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid that is found in large quantity in the brain and which has repeatedly been observed to be related in positive ways to both cognitive function and cardiovascular health. The mechanisms through which docosahexaenoic acid affects cognition are not well understood, but in this article, we propose a hypothesis that integrates the positive effects of docosahexaenoic acid in the cognitive and cardiovascular realms through the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system is known to regulate vital functions such as heart rate and respiration, and has also been linked to basic cognitive components related to arousal and attention. We review the literature from this perspective, and delineate the predictions generated by the hypothesis. In addition, we provide new data showing a link between docosahexaenoic acid and fetal heart rate that is consistent with the hypothesis.
To examine the association of dietary ω-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid and fish intake with incident neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and central geographic atrophy (CGA).
Multicenter clinic-based prospective cohort study from a clinical trial including Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) participants with bilateral drusen at enrollment. Main outcome measures were incident neovascular AMD and CGA, ascertained from annual stereoscopic color fundus photographs (median follow-up, 6.3 years). We estimated nutrient and food intake from a validated food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) at baseline, with intake of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), combined EPA and DHA, and fish as primary exposures.
After controlling for known covariates, we observed a reduced likelihood of progression from bilateral drusen to CGA among people who reported the highest levels of EPA (odds ratio [OR], 0.44; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.23-0.87) and EPA+DHA (OR, 0.45; 95% CI, 0.23-0.90) consumption. Levels of DHA were associated with CGA in age-, sex-, and calorie-adjusted models (OR, 0.51; 95% CI, 0.26-1.00); however, this statistical relationship did not persist in multivariable models.
Dietary lipid intake is a modifiable factor that may influence the likelihood of developing sight-threatening forms of AMD. Our findings suggest that dietary ω-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid intake is associated with a decreased risk of progression from bilateral drusen to CGA.
Dietary intake of fish and ω–3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω–3 PUFAs) may decrease the risk of prostate cancer development and progression to advanced stage disease. This could reflect the anti-inflammatory effects of PUFAs, possibly through mediation of cyclooxygenase (COX), a key enzyme in fatty acid metabolism and inflammation. Despite promising experimental evidence, epidemiological studies have reported somewhat conflicting results regarding the effects of fish/PUFAs on prostate cancer development and progression. The literature suggests that fish, and particularly long-chain ω–3 PUFAs, may have a more pronounced protective effect on biologically aggressive tumors or on their progression, and less on early steps of carcinogenesis. Moreover, the impact of LC ω–3 PUFAs may be modified by variation of the COX-2 gene. Overall, results to date support the hypothesis that long-chain ω–3 PUFAs may impact prostate inflammation and carcinogenesis via the COX-2 enzymatic pathway.
Cyclooxygenase 2; Diet; Gene; Genetic variation; ω–3 fatty acids; Polyunsaturated fatty acids; Prostatic neoplasms; Single nucleotide polymorphism
To estimate the association between fish consumption and erythrocyte omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids and preterm birth in a high-risk cohort.
This was an ancillary study to a randomized trial of omega-3 supplementation to prevent preterm birth in women with at least one prior spontaneous preterm delivery. Dietary fish intake was assessed by questionnaire and erythrocyte fatty acids were measured at enrollment (16 to 21 completed weeks of gestation). The association between fish consumption and preterm delivery was modeled with linear and quadratic terms.
The probability of preterm birth was 48.6% among women eating fish less than once a month and 35.9% among women eating fish more often (p<0.001). The adjusted odds ratio for preterm birth among women reporting moderately frequent fish consumption (three servings per week) was 0.60 (95% confidence interval 0.38 – 0.95), with no further reduction in preterm birth among women who consumed more than three servings of fish per week. Erythrocyte omega-3 levels correlated weakly but significantly with frequency of fish intake (Spearman r=0.22, p<0.001); women in the lowest quartile of erythrocyte omega-3 levels were more likely to report consuming less than one fish meal per month (40.3%) than were women in the highest three quartiles (26.3%, p<0.001).
Moderate fish intake (up to three meals per week) prior to 22 weeks of gestation was associated with a reduction in repeat preterm birth. More than moderate consumption did not confer additional benefit. These results support the recommendations of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists for fish consumption during pregnancy.
The treatment of children with inborn errors of metabolism (IEM) is mainly based on restricted dietary intake of protein-containing foods. However, dietary protein restriction may not only reduce amino acid intake, but may be associated with low intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids as well. This review focuses on the consequences of dietary restriction in IEM on the bioavailability of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs) and on the attempts to ameliorate these consequences. We were able to identify during a literature search 10 observational studies investigating LCPUFA status in patients with IEM and six randomized controlled trials (RCTs) reporting effect of LCPUFA supplementation to the diet of children with IEM. Decreased LCPUFA status, in particular decreased docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) status, has been found in patients suffering from IEM based on the evidence of observational studies. LCPUFA supplementation effectively improves DHA status without detectable adverse reactions. Further research should focus on functional outcomes of LCPUFA supplementation in children with IEM.
inborn errors of metabolism; long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids; linoleic acid; alpha-linolenic acid; arachidonic acid; docosahexaenoic acid
Omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA), especially DHA (docosahexaenonic acid) are essential for brain development and physical health. Low blood Omega-3 LC-PUFA have been reported in children with ADHD and related behavior/learning difficulties, as have benefits from dietary supplementation. Little is known, however, about blood fatty acid status in the general child population. We therefore investigated this in relation to age-standardized measures of behavior and cognition in a representative sample of children from mainstream schools.
493 schoolchildren aged 7–9 years from mainstream Oxfordshire schools, selected for below average reading performance in national assessments at age seven.
Whole blood fatty acids were obtained via fingerstick samples. Reading and working memory were assessed using the British Ability Scales (II). Behaviour (ADHD-type symptoms) was rated using the revised Conners’ rating scales (long parent and teacher versions). Associations were examined and adjusted for relevant demographic variables.
DHA and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), accounted for only 1.9% and 0.55% respectively of total blood fatty acids, with DHA showing more individual variation. Controlling for sex and socio-economic status, lower DHA concentrations were associated with poorer reading ability (std. OLS coeff. = 0.09, p = <.042) and working memory performance (0.14, p = <.001). Lower DHA was also associated with higher levels of parent rated oppositional behavior and emotional lability (−0.175, p = <.0001 and −0.178, p = <.0001).
In these healthy UK children with below average reading ability, concentrations of DHA and other Omega-3 LC-PUFA were low relative to adult cardiovascular health recommendations, and directly related to measures of cognition and behavior. These findings require confirmation, but suggest that the benefits from dietary supplementation with Omega-3 LC-PUFA found for ADHD, Dyspraxia, Dyslexia, and related conditions might extend to the general school population.
Cardioprotective effects of long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC n-3 PUFA) and fish consumption have been observed. However, data on the specific associations of these dietary factors with inflammation and endothelial activation are sparse. We conducted a cross-sectional study of 5,677 men and women from the MESA cohort including African Americans, Caucasians, Chinese and Hispanics, aged 45-84 years, and free of clinical cardiovascular disease. Dietary information was collected by self-administered food frequency questionnaire. Multivariable linear regression analyses were used to examine relations between intake of LC n-3 PUFAs, non-fried fish and fried fish and biomarkers of inflammation and endothelial activation. LC n-3 PUFA intakes were inversely associated with plasma concentrations of interleukin-6 (IL-6, P=0.01) and matrix metalloproteinase-3 (MMP-3, P=0.03) independent of age, body mass index, physical activity, smoking, alcohol consumption and dietary variables. Non-fried fish consumption was found inversely related to C-reactive protein (CRP, P=0.045) and IL-6 (P<0.01); and fried fish was observed being inversely related to soluble intercellular adhesion molecules-1 (sICAM-1) (P<0.01) but not associated with other biomarkers after adjustment for potential confounders. In conclusion, this study suggests that dietary intakes of LC n-3 PUFAs and fish are inversely associated with concentrations of some biomarkers reflecting lower levels of inflammation and endothelial activation. These results may partially explain the cardioprotective effects of fish consumption.
long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids; fish oil; biomarker; inflammation; endothelial function
Increased intake of ω-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs) and use of peroxisome proliferator activator receptor (PPAR)-activating drugs are associated with attenuation of pathologic retinal angiogenesis. ω-3 LCPUFAs are endogenous agonists of PPARs. We postulated that DNA sequence variation in PPAR gamma (PPARG) co-activator 1 alpha (PPARGC1A), a gene encoding a co-activator of the LCPUFA-sensing PPARG-retinoid X receptor (RXR) transcription complex, may influence neovascularization (NV) in age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
We applied exact testing methods to examine distributions of DNA sequence variants in PPARGC1A for association with NV AMD and interaction of AMD-associated loci in genes of complement, lipid metabolism, and VEGF signaling systems. Our sample contained 1858 people from 3 elderly cohorts of western European ancestry. We concurrently investigated retinal gene expression profiles in 17-day-old neonatal mice on a 2% LCPUFA feeding paradigm to identify LCPUFA-regulated genes both associated with pathologic retinal angiogenesis and known to interact with PPARs or PPARGC1A.
A DNA coding variant (rs3736265) and a 3'UTR-resident regulatory variant (rs3774923) in PPARGC1A were independently associated with NV AMD (exact P = 0.003, both SNPs). SNP-SNP interactions existed for NV AMD (P<0.005) with rs3736265 and a AMD-associated variant in complement factor B (CFB, rs512559). PPARGC1A influences activation of the AMD-associated complement component 3 (C3) promoter fragment and CFB influences activation and proteolysis of C3. We observed interaction (P≤0.003) of rs3736265 with a variant in vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA, rs3025033), a key molecule in retinal angiogenesis. Another PPARGC1A coding variant (rs8192678) showed statistical interaction with a SNP in the VEGFA receptor fms-related tyrosine kinase 1 (FLT1, rs10507386; P≤0.003). C3 expression was down-regulated 2-fold in retinas of ω-3 LCPUFA-fed mice – these animals also showed 70% reduction in retinal NV (P≤0.001).
Ligands and co-activators of the ω-3 LCPUFA sensing PPAR-RXR axis may influence retinal angiogenesis in NV AMD via the complement and VEGF signaling systems. We have linked the co-activator of a lipid-sensing transcription factor (PPARG co-activator 1 alpha, PPARGC1A) to age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and AMD-associated genes.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE:
Infant formula is supplemented with long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs) because they are hypothesized to improve cognition. Several randomized controlled clinical trials have examined the effect of LCPUFA supplementation of infant formula on cognitive development. We conducted this meta-analysis to examine the efficacy of LCPUFA supplementation of infant formula on early cognitive development.
Two authors searched PubMed, PsychInfo, and Scopus for randomized controlled clinical trials assessing the efficacy of LCPUFA supplementation of infant formulas on cognition. Our analysis was restricted to randomized controlled clinical trials that examined the effect of LCPUFA supplementation on infant cognition using Bayley Scales of Infant Development. Our primary outcome was the weighted mean difference in Bayley Scales of Infant Development score between infants fed formula supplemented with LCPUFA compared with unsupplemented formula. We conducted secondary subgroup analyses and meta-regression to examine the effects of study sample, LCPUFA dose, and trial methodologic quality on measured efficacy of supplementation.
Twelve trials involving 1802 infants met our inclusion criteria. Our meta-analysis demonstrated no significant effect of LCPUFA supplementation of formula on infant cognition. There was no significant heterogeneity or publication bias between trials. Secondary analysis failed to show any significant effect of LCPUFA dosing or prematurity status on supplementation efficacy.
LCPUFA supplementation of infant formulas failed to show any significant effect on improving early infant cognition. Further research is needed to determine if LCPUFA supplementation of infant formula has benefits for later cognitive development or other measures of neurodevelopment.
infant formula; unsaturated fatty acids; infant cognition; long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids; meta-analysis; Bayley Scales of Infant Development
Depression is one of the most frequently missed diagnoses in elderly people, with obvious negative effects on quality of life. Various studies have shown that long chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) may be useful in its management. Our objective was to evaluate whether a supplement containing n-3 PUFA improves depressive symptoms in depressed elderly patients, and whether the blood fatty acid pattern is correlated with these changes.
The severity of depressive symptoms according to the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS), blood fatty acid composition and erythrocyte phospholipids were analyzed in 46 depressed females aged 66-95y, diagnosed with depression according to DSMIV, within the context of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. 22 depressed females were included in the intervention group (2.5 g/day of n-3 PUFA for 8 weeks), and 24 in the placebo group. We also measured immunological parameters (CD2, CD3, CD4, CD8, CD16, CD19 and cytokines (IL-5, IL-15).
The mean GDS score and AA/EPA ratio, in whole blood and RBC membrane phospholipids, were significantly lower after 2 months supplementation with n-3 PUFA. A significant correlation between the amelioration of GDS and the AA/EPA ratio with some immunological parameters, such as CD2, CD19, CD4, CD16 and the ratio CD4/CD8, was also found. Nevertheless, omega-3 supplementation did not significantly improve the studied immunological functions.
n-3 PUFA supplementation ameliorates symptoms in elderly depression. The n-3 PUFA status may be monitored by means of the determination of whole blood AA/EPA ratio.
Omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids; Depressed mood; Elderly; AA/EPA; Cell membrane; Phospholipids; EPA; DHA
Breastfeeding effects on cognition are attributed to long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs), but controversy persists. Genetic variation in fatty acid desaturase (FADS) and elongase (ELOVL) enzymes has been overlooked when studying the effects of LC-PUFAs supply on cognition. We aimed to: 1) to determine whether maternal genetic variants in the FADS cluster and ELOVL genes contribute to differences in LC-PUFA levels in colostrum; 2) to analyze whether these maternal variants are related to child cognition; and 3) to assess whether children's variants modify breastfeeding effects on cognition.
Data come from two population-based birth cohorts (n = 400 mother-child pairs from INMA-Sabadell; and n = 340 children from INMA-Menorca). LC-PUFAs were measured in 270 colostrum samples from INMA-Sabadell. Tag SNPs were genotyped both in mothers and children (13 in the FADS cluster, 6 in ELOVL2, and 7 in ELOVL5). Child cognition was assessed at 14 mo and 4 y using the Bayley Scales of Infant Development and the McCarthy Scales of Children's Abilities, respectively.
Children of mothers carrying genetic variants associated with lower FADS1 activity (regulating AA and EPA synthesis), higher FADS2 activity (regulating DHA synthesis), and with higher EPA/AA and DHA/AA ratios in colostrum showed a significant advantage in cognition at 14 mo (3.5 to 5.3 points). Not being breastfed conferred an 8- to 9-point disadvantage in cognition among children GG homozygote for rs174468 (low FADS1 activity) but not among those with the A allele. Moreover, not being breastfed resulted in a disadvantage in cognition (5 to 8 points) among children CC homozygote for rs2397142 (low ELOVL5 activity), but not among those carrying the G allele.
Genetically determined maternal supplies of LC-PUFAs during pregnancy and lactation appear to be crucial for child cognition. Breastfeeding effects on cognition are modified by child genetic variation in fatty acid desaturase and elongase enzymes.
Human milk is the optimal nutrition for infants. When breastfeeding is not possible, supplementation of infant formula with long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids appears to promote neurodevelopmental outcome and visual function. Plant oils, that are the only source of fat in most of infant formulas, do not contain specific fatty acids that are present in human and cow milk and do not encounter milk fat triglyceride structure. Experimental data suggest that a mix of dairy lipids and plant oils can potentiate endogenous synthesis of n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids. This trial aims to determine the effect of an infant formula supplemented with a mixture of dairy lipids and plant oils on the erythrocyte membrane omega-3 fatty acid profile in full-term infants (primary outcome). Erythrocyte membrane long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids and fatty acids content, the plasma lipid profile and the insulin-growth factor 1 level, the gastrointestinal tolerance, the changes throughout the study in blood fatty acids content, in growth and body composition are evaluated as secondary outcomes.
In a double-blind controlled randomized trial, 75 healthy full-term infants are randomly allocated to receive for four months a formula supplemented with a mixture of dairy lipids and plant oils or a formula containing only plant oils or a formula containing plant oils supplemented with arachidonic acid and docosahexaenoic acid. Twenty-five breast-fed infants constitute the reference group. Erythrocyte membrane omega-3 fatty acid profile, long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids and the other fatty acids content, the plasma lipid profile and the insulin-growth factor 1 level are measured after four months of intervention. Gastrointestinal tolerance, the changes in blood fatty acids content, in growth and body composition, assessed by means of an air displacement plethysmography system, are also evaluated throughout the study.
The achievement of an appropriate long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids status represents an important goal in neonatal nutrition. Gaining further insight in the effects of the supplementation of a formula with dairy lipids and plant oils in healthy full-term infants could help to produce a formula whose fat content, composition and structure is more similar to human milk.
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier NCT01611649
Full-term infants; Formula supplementation; Dairy lipids; Erythrocyte membrane omega-3 fatty acid profile
A beneficial effect of a high n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (LCPUFA) intake has been observed in heart failure patients, who are frequently insulin resistant. We investigated the potential influence of impaired glucose metabolism on the relation between dietary intake of n-3 LCPUFAs and risk of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) in patients with coronary artery disease.
This prospective cohort study was based on the Western Norway B-Vitamin Intervention Trial and included 2,378 patients with coronary artery disease with available baseline glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) and dietary data. Patients were sub-grouped as having no diabetes (HbA1c <5.7%), pre-diabetes (HbA1c ≥5.7%), or diabetes (previous diabetes, fasting baseline serum glucose ≥7.0, or non-fasting glucose ≥11.1 mmol/L). AMI risk was evaluated by Cox regression (age and sex adjusted), comparing the upper versus lower tertile of daily dietary n-3 LCPUFA intake.
The participants (80% males) had a mean age of 62 and follow-up of 4.8 years. A high n-3 LCPUFA intake was associated with reduced risk of AMI (hazard ratio 0.38, 95%CI 0.18, 0.80) in diabetes patients (median HbA1c = 7.2%), whereas no association was observed in pre-diabetes patients. In patients without diabetes a high intake tended to be associated with an increased risk (hazard ratio1.45, 95%CI 0.84, 2.53), which was significant for fatal AMI (hazard ratio 4.79, 95%CI 1.05, 21.90) and associated with lower HbA1c (mean ± standard deviation 4.55 ±0.68 versus 4.92 ±0.60, P = 0.02). No such differences in HbA1c were observed in those with pre-diabetes or diabetes.
A high intake of n-3 LCPUFAs was associated with a reduced risk of AMI, independent of HbA1c, in diabetic patients, but with an increased risk of fatal AMI and lower HbA1c among patients without impaired glucose metabolism. Further studies should investigate whether patients with diabetes may benefit from having a high intake of n-3 LCPUFAs and whether patients with normal glucose tolerance should be careful with a very high intake of these fatty acids.
This trial is registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT00354081.
Coronary artery disease; Diabetes; Dietary n-3 fatty acids; Myocardial infarction
Observational studies have linked lower levels of omega-3 (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) with inflammation and depression. This study was designed to determine whether n-3 supplementation would decrease serum cytokine production and depressive symptoms in 138 healthy middle-aged and older adults (average age=51.04, SD=7.76) who were sedentary and overweight (average BMI=30.59, SD= 4.50). This three-arm randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind 4-month trial compared responses to (1) 2.5 g/d n-3 PUFAs, or (2) 1.25 g/d n-3 PUFAs, or (3) placebo capsules that mirrored the proportions of fatty acids in the typical American diet. Serum interleukin-6 decreased by 10% and 12% in our low and high dose n-3 groups, respectively, compared to a 36% increase in the placebo group. Similarly, low and high dose n-3 groups showed modest 0.2% and −2.3% changes in serum tumor necrosis factor alpha, compared to a 12% increase in the control group. Depressive symptoms were quite low at baseline and did not change significantly in response to supplementation. Our data suggest that n-3 PUFAs can reduce inflammation in overweight, sedentary middle-aged and older adults, and thus could have broad health benefits. These data provide a window into the ways in which the n-3 PUFAs may impact disease initiation, progression, and resolution.
ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00385723
fish oil; omega-3; omega-6; interleukin-6; tumor necrosis factor alpha; psychoneuroimmunology; integrative medicine; nutritional neuroscience