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Article

Differential Effects of DHA- and EPA-Rich Oils on Sleep in Healthy Young Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial

1
Brain, Performance and Nutrition Research Centre, Health and Life Sciences, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 8ST, UK
2
BASF AS, NO-0283 Oslo, Norway
3
Human Development and Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton SO16 6YD, UK
4
National Institute of Health Research Southampton Biomedical Research Centre, University Hospital Southampton National Health Service Foundation Trust and University of Southampton, Southampton SO16 6YD, UK
5
Faculty of Health & Medical Sciences, University of Surrey, Guildford GU2 7XH, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2021, 13(1), 248; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13010248
Received: 16 December 2020 / Revised: 11 January 2021 / Accepted: 13 January 2021 / Published: 16 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Omega-3 Supplementation and Human Behaviour)
Emerging evidence suggests that adequate intake of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs), which include docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), might be associated with better sleep quality. N-3 PUFAs, which must be acquired from dietary sources, are typically consumed at suboptimal levels in Western diets. Therefore, the current placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized trial, investigated the effects of an oil rich in either DHA or EPA on sleep quality in healthy adults who habitually consumed low amounts of oily fish. Eighty-four participants aged 25–49 years completed the 26-week intervention trial. Compared to placebo, improvements in actigraphy sleep efficiency (p = 0.030) and latency (p = 0.026) were observed following the DHA-rich oil. However, these participants also reported feeling less energetic compared to the placebo (p = 0.041), and less rested (p = 0.017), and there was a trend towards feeling less ready to perform (p = 0.075) than those given EPA-rich oil. A trend towards improved sleep efficiency was identified in the EPA-rich group compared to placebo (p = 0.087), along with a significant decrease in both total time in bed (p = 0.032) and total sleep time (p = 0.019) compared to the DHA-rich oil. No significant effects of either treatment were identified for urinary excretion of the major melatonin metabolite 6-sulfatoxymelatonin. This study was the first to demonstrate some positive effects of dietary supplementation with n-3 PUFAs in healthy adult normal sleepers, and provides novel evidence showing the differential effects of n-3 PUFA supplements rich in either DHA or EPA. Further investigation into the mechanisms underpinning these observations including the effects of n-3 PUFAs on sleep architecture are required. View Full-Text
Keywords: docosahexaenoic acid; eicosapentaenoic acid; omega-3; sleep; actigraphy; SMEDS docosahexaenoic acid; eicosapentaenoic acid; omega-3; sleep; actigraphy; SMEDS
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MDPI and ACS Style

Patan, M.J.; Kennedy, D.O.; Husberg, C.; Hustvedt, S.O.; Calder, P.C.; Middleton, B.; Khan, J.; Forster, J.; Jackson, P.A. Differential Effects of DHA- and EPA-Rich Oils on Sleep in Healthy Young Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Nutrients 2021, 13, 248. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13010248

AMA Style

Patan MJ, Kennedy DO, Husberg C, Hustvedt SO, Calder PC, Middleton B, Khan J, Forster J, Jackson PA. Differential Effects of DHA- and EPA-Rich Oils on Sleep in Healthy Young Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Nutrients. 2021; 13(1):248. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13010248

Chicago/Turabian Style

Patan, Michael J., David O. Kennedy, Cathrine Husberg, Svein Olaf Hustvedt, Philip C. Calder, Benita Middleton, Julie Khan, Joanne Forster, and Philippa A. Jackson. 2021. "Differential Effects of DHA- and EPA-Rich Oils on Sleep in Healthy Young Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial" Nutrients 13, no. 1: 248. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13010248

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