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Nutrients 2014, 6(5), 1956-1970; doi:10.3390/nu6051956
Article

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

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1 Centre for Human Psychopharmacology, Swinburne University of Technology, P.O. Box 218, Hawthorn 3122, Australia 2 Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University, Clayton VIC 3800, Australia 3 Metabolic Research Unit, School of Medicine, Deakin University, Melbourne 3216, Australia 4 NatMed-Research Unit, Southern Cross University, Lismore NSW 2480, Australia 5 School of Medicine and Pharmacology, University of Western Australia, Crawley 6009, Australia 6 National Institute of Integrative Medicine, Hawthorn 3122, Australia
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 February 2014 / Revised: 23 April 2014 / Accepted: 30 April 2014 / Published: 14 May 2014
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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.
Keywords: fish oils; multivitamins; n-3; randomized; controlled trial (RCT); fatty acid; diet fish oils; multivitamins; n-3; randomized; controlled trial (RCT); fatty acid; diet
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Pipingas, A.; Cockerell, R.; Grima, N.; Sinclair, A.; Stough, C.; Scholey, A.; Myers, S.; Croft, K.; Sali, A.; Pase, M.P. 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 2014, 6, 1956-1970.

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