Special Issue "DHA for Optimal Health"

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2015).

Printed Edition Available!
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Barbara Meyer
E-Mail
Guest Editor
School of Medicine, Metabolic Research Centre and Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia
Interests: role of nutrients (e.g. omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids) in health and disease including clinical intervention trials

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue of Nutrients, entitled "DHA for Optimal Health", welcomes the submissions of manuscripts which either include evidence-based original research or reviews of the scientific literature. Manuscripts should focus on evidence that underpins dietary requirements throughout the lifespan (from in-utero to the elderly) for optimal brain function and/or prevention (or treatment) of disease.

Dr. Barbara Meyer
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • DHA
  • neurodevelopment
  • cognition
  • cognitive decline
  • mental health

Published Papers (17 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
A Correlation Study of DHA Dietary Intake and Plasma, Erythrocyte and Breast Milk DHA Concentrations in Lactating Women from Coastland, Lakeland, and Inland Areas of China
Nutrients 2016, 8(5), 312; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8050312 - 20 May 2016
Cited by 6
Abstract
We aimed to assess the correlation between docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) dietary intake and the plasma, erythrocyte and breast milk DHA concentrations in lactating women residing in the coastland, lakeland and inland areas of China. A total of 408 healthy lactating women (42 ± [...] Read more.
We aimed to assess the correlation between docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) dietary intake and the plasma, erythrocyte and breast milk DHA concentrations in lactating women residing in the coastland, lakeland and inland areas of China. A total of 408 healthy lactating women (42 ± 7 days postpartum) were recruited from four hospitals located in Weihai (coastland), Yueyang (lakeland) and Baotou (inland) city. The categories of food containing DHA, the average amount consumed per time and the frequency of consumption in the past month were assessed by a tailored DHA food frequency questionnaire, the DHA Intake Evaluation Tool (DIET). DHA dietary intake (mg/day) was calculated according to the Chinese Food Composition Table (Version 2009). In addition, fasting venous blood (5 mL) and breast milk (10 mL) were collected from lactating women. DHA concentrations in plasma, erythrocyte and breast milk were measured using capillary gas chromatography, and were reported as absolute concentration (μg/mL) and relative concentration (weight percent of total fatty acids, wt. %). Spearman correlation coefficients were used to assess the correlation between intakes of DHA and its concentrations in biological specimens. The study showed that the breast milk, plasma and erythrocyte DHA concentrations were positively correlated with DHA dietary intake; corresponding correlation coefficients were 0.36, 0.36 and 0.24 for relative concentration and 0.33, 0.32, and 0.18 for absolute concentration (p < 0.05). The median DHA dietary intake varied significantly across areas (p < 0.05), which was highest in the coastland (24.32 mg/day), followed by lakeland (13.69 mg/day), and lowest in the inland (8.84 mg/day). The overall relative and absolute DHA concentrations in breast milk were 0.36% ± 0.23% and 141.49 ± 107.41 μg/mL; the concentrations were significantly lower in inland women than those from coastland and lakeland. We conclude that DHA dietary intake is positively correlated with DHA concentrations in blood and breast milk in Chinese lactating women, suggesting that the tailored DHA food frequency questionnaire, DIET, is a valid tool for the assessment of DHA dietary intake. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Australians are not Meeting the Recommended Intakes for Omega-3 Long Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids: Results of an Analysis from the 2011–2012 National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey
Nutrients 2016, 8(3), 111; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8030111 - 24 Feb 2016
Cited by 24
Abstract
Health benefits have been attributed to omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LCPUFA). Therefore it is important to know if Australians are currently meeting the recommended intake for n-3 LCPUFA and if they have increased since the last National [...] Read more.
Health benefits have been attributed to omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LCPUFA). Therefore it is important to know if Australians are currently meeting the recommended intake for n-3 LCPUFA and if they have increased since the last National Nutrition Survey in 1995 (NNS 1995). Dietary intake data was obtained from the recent 2011–2012 National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey (2011–2012 NNPAS). Linoleic acid (LA) intakes have decreased whilst alpha-linolenic acid (LNA) and n-3 LCPUFA intakes have increased primarily due to n-3 LCPUFA supplements. The median n-3 LCPUFA intakes are less than 50% of the mean n-3 LCPUFA intakes which highlights the highly-skewed n-3 LCPUFA intakes, which shows that there are some people consuming high amounts of n-3 LCPUFA, but the vast majority of the population are consuming much lower amounts. Only 20% of the population meets the recommended n-3 LCPUFA intakes and only 10% of women of childbearing age meet the recommended docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) intake. Fish and seafood is by far the richest source of n-3 LCPUFA including DHA. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Fish, Long-Chain n-3 PUFA and Incidence of Elevated Blood Pressure: A Meta-Analysis of Prospective Cohort Studies
Nutrients 2016, 8(1), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8010058 - 21 Jan 2016
Cited by 14
Abstract
Results from prospective cohort studies on fish or long-chain (LC) n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) intake and elevated blood pressure (EBP) are inconsistent. We aimed to investigate the summary effects. Pertinent studies were identified from PubMed and EMBASE database through October 2015. [...] Read more.
Results from prospective cohort studies on fish or long-chain (LC) n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) intake and elevated blood pressure (EBP) are inconsistent. We aimed to investigate the summary effects. Pertinent studies were identified from PubMed and EMBASE database through October 2015. Multivariate-adjusted risk ratios (RRs) for incidence of EBP in the highest verses the bottom category of baseline intake of fish or LC n-3 PUFA were pooled using a random-effects meta-analysis. Over the follow-up ranging from 3 to 20 years, 20,497 EBP events occurred among 56,204 adults from eight prospective cohort studies. The summary RR (SRR) was 0.96 (95% CI: 0.81, 1.14; I2 = 44.70%) for fish in four studies, and 0.73 (95% CI: 0.60, 0.89; I2 = 75.00%) for LC n-3 PUFA in six studies (three studies for biomarker vs. three studies for diet). Circulating LC n-3 PUFA as biomarker was inversely associated with incidence of EBP (SRR: 0.67; 95% CI: 0.55, 0.83), especially docosahexaenoic acid (SRR: 0.64; 95% CI: 0.45, 0.88), whereas no significant association was found for dietary intake (SRR: 0.80; 95% CI: 0.58, 1.10). The present finding suggests that increased intake of docosahexaenoic acid to improve its circulating levels may benefit primary prevention of EBP. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Docosahexaenoic Acid Ameliorates Fructose-Induced Hepatic Steatosis Involving ER Stress Response in Primary Mouse Hepatocytes
Nutrients 2016, 8(1), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8010055 - 20 Jan 2016
Cited by 8
Abstract
The increase in fructose consumption is considered to be a risk factor for developing nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). We investigated the effects of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) on hepatic lipid metabolism in fructose-treated primary mouse hepatocytes, and the changes of Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) [...] Read more.
The increase in fructose consumption is considered to be a risk factor for developing nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). We investigated the effects of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) on hepatic lipid metabolism in fructose-treated primary mouse hepatocytes, and the changes of Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress pathways in response to DHA treatment. The hepatocytes were treated with fructose, DHA, fructose plus DHA, tunicamycin (TM) or fructose plus 4-phenylbutyric acid (PBA) for 24 h. Intracellular triglyceride (TG) accumulation was assessed by Oil Red O staining. The mRNA expression levels and protein levels related to lipid metabolism and ER stress response were determined by real-time PCR and Western blot. Fructose treatment led to obvious TG accumulation in primary hepatocytes through increasing expression of fatty acid synthase (FAS) and acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC), two key enzymes in hepatic de novo lipogenesis. DHA ameliorates fructose-induced TG accumulation by upregulating the expression of carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1A (CPT-1α) and acyl-CoA oxidase 1 (ACOX1). DHA treatment or pretreatment with the ER stress inhibitor PBA significantly decreased TG accumulation and reduced the expression of glucose-regulated protein 78 (GRP78), total inositol-requiring kinase 1 (IRE1α) and p-IRE1α. The present results suggest that DHA protects against high fructose-induced hepatocellular lipid accumulation. The current findings also suggest that alleviating the ER stress response seems to play a role in the prevention of fructose-induced hepatic steatosis by DHA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue DHA for Optimal Health) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Protection against Oxygen-Glucose Deprivation/Reperfusion Injury in Cortical Neurons by Combining Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Acid with Lyciumbarbarum Polysaccharide
Nutrients 2016, 8(1), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8010041 - 13 Jan 2016
Cited by 6
Abstract
Ischemic stroke, characterized by the disturbance of the blood supply to the brain, is a severe worldwide health threat with high mortality and morbidity. However, there is no effective pharmacotherapy for ischemic injury. Currently, combined treatment is highly recommended for this devastating injury. [...] Read more.
Ischemic stroke, characterized by the disturbance of the blood supply to the brain, is a severe worldwide health threat with high mortality and morbidity. However, there is no effective pharmacotherapy for ischemic injury. Currently, combined treatment is highly recommended for this devastating injury. In the present study, we investigated neuroprotective effects of the combination of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω-3 PUFAs) and Lyciumbarbarum polysaccharide (LBP) on cortical neurons using an in vitro ischemic model. Our study demonstrated that treatment with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a major component of the ω-3 PUFAs family, significantly inhibited the increase of intracellular Ca2+ in cultured wild type (WT) cortical neurons subjected to oxygen-glucose deprivation/reperfusion (OGD/R) injury and promoted their survival compared with the vehicle-treated control. The protective effects were further confirmed in cultured neurons with high endogenous ω-3 PUFAs that were isolated from fat-1 mice, in that a higher survival rate was found in fat-1 neurons compared with wild-type neurons after OGD/R injury. Our study also found that treatment with LBP (50 mg/L) activated Trk-B signaling in cortical neurons and significantly attenuated OGD/R-induced cell apoptosis compared with the control. Notably, both combining LBP treatment with ω-3 PUFAs administration to WT neurons and adding LBP to fat-1 neurons showed enhanced effects on protecting cortical neurons against OGD/R injury via concurrently regulating the intracellular calcium overload and neurotrophic pathway. The results of the study suggest that ω-3 PUFAs and LBP are promising candidates for combined pharmacotherapy for ischemic stroke. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue DHA for Optimal Health) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Rise in DPA Following SDA-Rich Dietary Echium Oil Less Effective in Affording Anti-Arrhythmic Actions Compared to High DHA Levels Achieved with Fish Oil in Sprague-Dawley Rats
Nutrients 2016, 8(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8010014 - 04 Jan 2016
Cited by 4
Abstract
Stearidonic acid (SDA; C18:4n-3) has been suggested as an alternative to fish oil (FO) for delivering health benefits of C ≥ 20 long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC n-3 PUFA). Echium oil (EO) represents a non-genetically-modified source of SDA [...] Read more.
Stearidonic acid (SDA; C18:4n-3) has been suggested as an alternative to fish oil (FO) for delivering health benefits of C ≥ 20 long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC n-3 PUFA). Echium oil (EO) represents a non-genetically-modified source of SDA available commercially. This study compared EO and FO in relation to alterations in plasma and tissue fatty acids, and for their ability to afford protection against ischemia-induced cardiac arrhythmia and ventricular fibrillation (VF). Rats were fed (12 weeks) diets supplemented with either EO or FO at three dose levels (1, 3 and 5% w/w; n = 18 per group). EO failed to influence C22:6n-3 (DHA) but increased C22:5n-3 (DPA) in tissues dose-dependently, especially in heart tissue. Conversely, DHA in hearts of FO rats showed dose-related elevation; 14.8%–24.1% of total fatty acids. Kidney showed resistance for incorporation of LC n-3 PUFA. Overall, FO provided greater cardioprotection than EO. At the highest dose level, FO rats displayed lower (p < 0.05) episodes of VF% (29% vs. 73%) and duration (22.7 ± 12.0 vs. 75.8 ± 17.1 s) than the EO group but at 3% EO was comparable to FO. We conclude that there is no endogenous conversion of SDA to DHA, and that DPA may be associated with limited cardiac benefit. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Association between Blood Omega-3 Index and Cognition in Typically Developing Dutch Adolescents
Nutrients 2016, 8(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8010013 - 02 Jan 2016
Cited by 16
Abstract
The impact of omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs) on cognition is heavily debated. In the current study, the possible association between omega-3 LCPUFAs in blood and cognitive performance of 266 typically developing adolescents aged 13–15 years is investigated. Baseline data from Food2Learn, [...] Read more.
The impact of omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs) on cognition is heavily debated. In the current study, the possible association between omega-3 LCPUFAs in blood and cognitive performance of 266 typically developing adolescents aged 13–15 years is investigated. Baseline data from Food2Learn, a double-blind and randomized placebo controlled krill oil supplementation trial in typically developing adolescents, were used for the current study. The Omega-3 Index was determined with blood from a finger prick. At baseline, participants finished a neuropsychological test battery consisting of the Letter Digit Substitution Test (LDST), D2 test of attention, Digit Span Forward and Backward, Concept Shifting Test and Stroop test. Data were analyzed with multiple regression analyses with correction for covariates. The average Omega-3 Index was 3.83% (SD 0.60). Regression analyses between the Omega-3 Index and the outcome parameters revealed significant associations with scores on two of the nine parameters. The association between the Omega-3 Index and both scores on the LDST (β = 0.136 and p = 0.039), and the number of errors of omission on the D2 (β = −0.053 and p = 0.007). This is a possible indication for a higher information processing speed and less impulsivity in those with a higher Omega-3 Index. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Long-Term Effect of Docosahexaenoic Acid Feeding on Lipid Composition and Brain Fatty Acid-Binding Protein Expression in Rats
Nutrients 2015, 7(10), 8802-8817; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7105433 - 22 Oct 2015
Cited by 11
Abstract
Arachidonic (AA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) brain accretion is essential for brain development. The impact of DHA-rich maternal diets on offspring brain fatty acid composition has previously been studied up to the weanling stage; however, there has been no follow-up at later stages. [...] Read more.
Arachidonic (AA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) brain accretion is essential for brain development. The impact of DHA-rich maternal diets on offspring brain fatty acid composition has previously been studied up to the weanling stage; however, there has been no follow-up at later stages. Here, we examine the impact of DHA-rich maternal and weaning diets on brain fatty acid composition at weaning and three weeks post-weaning. We report that DHA supplementation during lactation maintains high DHA levels in the brains of pups even when they are fed a DHA-deficient diet for three weeks after weaning. We show that boosting dietary DHA levels for three weeks after weaning compensates for a maternal DHA-deficient diet during lactation. Finally, our data indicate that brain fatty acid binding protein (FABP7), a marker of neural stem cells, is down-regulated in the brains of six-week pups with a high DHA:AA ratio. We propose that elevated levels of DHA in developing brain accelerate brain maturation relative to DHA-deficient brains. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
DHA in Pregnant and Lactating Women from Coastland, Lakeland, and Inland Areas of China: Results of a DHA Evaluation in Women (DEW) Study
Nutrients 2015, 7(10), 8723-8732; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7105428 - 21 Oct 2015
Cited by 7
Abstract
Few studies have examined docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in pregnant and lactating women in developing countries like China, where DHA-enriched supplements are increasingly popular. We aimed to assess the DHA status among Chinese pregnant and lactating women residing areas differing in the availability of [...] Read more.
Few studies have examined docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in pregnant and lactating women in developing countries like China, where DHA-enriched supplements are increasingly popular. We aimed to assess the DHA status among Chinese pregnant and lactating women residing areas differing in the availability of aquatic products. In total, 1211 women in mid-pregnancy (17 ± 2 weeks), late pregnancy (39 ± 2 weeks), or lactation (42 ± 7 days) were enrolled from Weihai (coastland), Yueyang (lakeland), and Baotou (inland) city, with approximately 135 women in each participant group by region. DHA concentrations were measured using capillary gas chromatography, and are reported as weight percent of total fatty acids. Mean plasma DHA concentrations were higher in coastland (mid-pregnancy 3.19%, late pregnancy 2.54%, lactation 2.24%) and lakeland women (2.45%, 1.95%, 2.26%) than inland women (2.25%, 1.67%, 1.68%) (p values < 0.001). Similar differences were observed for erythrocyte DHA. We conclude that DHA concentrations of Chinese pregnant and lactating women are higher in coastland and lakeland regions than in inland areas. DHA status in the study population appears to be stronger than populations from other countries studied to date. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Four Models Including Fish, Seafood, Red Meat and Enriched Foods to Achieve Australian Dietary Recommendations for n-3 LCPUFA for All Life-Stages
Nutrients 2015, 7(10), 8602-8614; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7105413 - 19 Oct 2015
Cited by 6
Abstract
Populations are not meeting recommended intakes of omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LCPUFA). The aim was (i) to develop a database on n-3 LCPUFA enriched products; (ii) to undertake dietary modelling exercise using four dietary approaches to meet [...] Read more.
Populations are not meeting recommended intakes of omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LCPUFA). The aim was (i) to develop a database on n-3 LCPUFA enriched products; (ii) to undertake dietary modelling exercise using four dietary approaches to meet the recommendations and (iii) to determine the cost of the models. Six n-3 LCPUFA enriched foods were identified. Fish was categorised by n-3 LCPUFA content (mg/100 g categories as “excellent” “good” and “moderate”). The four models to meet recommended n-3 LCPUFA intakes were (i) fish only; (ii) moderate fish (with red meat and enriched foods); (iii) fish avoiders (red meat and enriched foods only); and (iv) lacto-ovo vegetarian diet (enriched foods only). Diets were modelled using the NUTTAB2010 database and n-3 LCPUFA were calculated and compared to the Suggested Dietary Targets (SDT). The cost of meeting these recommendations was calculated per 100 mg n-3 LCPUFA. The SDT were achieved for all life-stages with all four models. The weekly food intake in number of serves to meet the n-3 LCPUFA SDT for all life-stages for each dietary model were: (i) 2 “excellent” fish; (ii) 1 “excellent” and 1 “good” fish, and depending on life-stage, 3–4 lean red meat, 0–2 eggs and 3–26 enriched foods; (iii) 4 lean red meat, and 20–59 enriched foods; (iv) 37–66 enriched foods. Recommended intakes of n-3 LCPUFA were easily met by the consumption of fish, which was the cheapest source of n-3 LCPUFA. Other strategies may be required to achieve the recommendations including modifying the current food supply through feeding practices, novel plant sources and more enriched foods. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Duality of n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids on Mcp-1 Expression in Vascular Smooth Muscle: A Potential Role of 4-Hydroxy Hexenal
Nutrients 2015, 7(9), 8112-8126; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7095381 - 21 Sep 2015
Cited by 5
Abstract
N-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) have protective effects against atherosclerosis. Monocyte chemotactic protein (MCP)-1 is a major inflammatory mediator in the progression of atherosclerosis. However, little is known about the regulation of MCP-1 by DHA [...] Read more.
N-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) have protective effects against atherosclerosis. Monocyte chemotactic protein (MCP)-1 is a major inflammatory mediator in the progression of atherosclerosis. However, little is known about the regulation of MCP-1 by DHA and EPA in vessels and vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). In this study, we compared the effect of DHA and EPA on the expression of Mcp-1 in rat arterial strips and rat VSMCs. DHA, but not EPA, suppressed Mcp-1 expression in arterial strips. Furthermore, DHA generated 4-hydroxy hexenal (4-HHE), an end product of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), in arterial strips as measured by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. In addition, 4-HHE treatment suppressed Mcp-1 expression in arterial strips, suggesting 4-HHE derived from DHA may be involved in the mechanism of this phenomenon. In contrast, Mcp-1 expression was stimulated by DHA, EPA and 4-HHE through p38 kinase and the Keap1-Nuclear factor erythroid-derived 2-like 2 (Nrf2) pathway in VSMCs. In conclusion, there is a dual effect of n-3 PUFAs on the regulation of Mcp-1 expression. Further study is necessary to elucidate the pathological role of this phenomenon. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Modification of Docosahexaenoic Acid Composition of Milk from Nursing Women Who Received Alpha Linolenic Acid from Chia Oil during Gestation and Nursing
Nutrients 2015, 7(8), 6405-6424; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7085289 - 04 Aug 2015
Cited by 18
Abstract
α-Linolenic acid (ALA) is the precursor of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in humans, which is fundamental for brain and visual function. Western diet provides low ALA and DHA, which is reflected in low DHA in maternal milk. Chia oil extracted from chia (Salvia [...] Read more.
α-Linolenic acid (ALA) is the precursor of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in humans, which is fundamental for brain and visual function. Western diet provides low ALA and DHA, which is reflected in low DHA in maternal milk. Chia oil extracted from chia (Salvia hispanica L.), a plant native to some Latin American countries, is high in ALA (up to 60%) and thereby is an alternative to provide ALA with the aim to reduce DHA deficits. We evaluated the modification of the fatty acid profile of milk obtained from Chilean mothers who received chia oil during gestation and nursing. Forty healthy pregnant women (22–35 years old) tabulated for food consumption, were randomly separated into two groups: a control group with normal feeding (n = 21) and a chia group (n = 19), which received 16 mL chia oil daily from the third trimester of pregnancy until the first six months of nursing. The fatty acid profile of erythrocyte phospholipids, measured at six months of pregnancy, at time of delivery and at six months of nursing, and the fatty acid profile of the milk collected during the first six months of nursing were assessed by gas-chromatography. The chia group, compared to the control group, showed (i) a significant increase in ALA ingestion and a significant reduction of linoleic acid (LA) ingestion, no showing modification of arachidonic acid (AA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and DHA; (ii) a significant increase of erythrocyte ALA and EPA and a reduction of LA. AA and DHA were not modified; (iii) a increased milk content of ALA during the six months of nursing, whereas LA showed a decrease. AA and EPA were not modified, however DHA increased only during the first three months of nursing. Consumption of chia oil during the last trimester of pregnancy and the first three months of nursing transiently increases the milk content of DHA. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Pattern of Fatty Acids Displaced by EPA and DHA Following 12 Months Supplementation Varies between Blood Cell and Plasma Fractions
Nutrients 2015, 7(8), 6281-6293; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7085285 - 03 Aug 2015
Cited by 27
Abstract
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are increased in plasma lipids and blood cell membranes in response to supplementation. Whilst arachidonic acid (AA) is correspondingly decreased, the effect on other fatty acids (FA) is less well described and there may be site-specific [...] Read more.
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are increased in plasma lipids and blood cell membranes in response to supplementation. Whilst arachidonic acid (AA) is correspondingly decreased, the effect on other fatty acids (FA) is less well described and there may be site-specific differences. In response to 12 months EPA + DHA supplementation in doses equivalent to 0–4 portions of oily fish/week (1 portion: 3.27 g EPA+DHA) multinomial regression analysis was used to identify important FA changes for plasma phosphatidylcholine (PC), cholesteryl ester (CE) and triglyceride (TAG) and for blood mononuclear cells (MNC), red blood cells (RBC) and platelets (PLAT). Dose-dependent increases in EPA + DHA were matched by decreases in several n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) in PC, CE, RBC and PLAT, but were predominantly compensated for by oleic acid in TAG. Changes were observed for all FA classes in MNC. Consequently the n-6:n-3 PUFA ratio was reduced in a dose-dependent manner in all pools after 12 months (37%–64% of placebo in the four portions group). We conclude that the profile of the FA decreased in exchange for the increase in EPA + DHA following supplementation differs by FA pool with implications for understanding the impact of n-3 PUFA on blood lipid and blood cell biology. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
What Is the Most Effective Way of Increasing the Bioavailability of Dietary Long Chain Omega-3 Fatty Acids—Daily vs. Weekly Administration of Fish Oil?
Nutrients 2015, 7(7), 5628-5645; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7075241 - 10 Jul 2015
Cited by 4
Abstract
The recommendations on the intake of long chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LC-PUFA) vary from eating oily fish (“once to twice per week”) to consuming specified daily amounts of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (“250–500 mg per day”). [...] Read more.
The recommendations on the intake of long chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LC-PUFA) vary from eating oily fish (“once to twice per week”) to consuming specified daily amounts of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (“250–500 mg per day”). It is not known if there is a difference in the uptake/bioavailability between regular daily consumption of supplementsvs. consuming fish once or twice per week. In this study, the bioavailability of a daily dose of n-3 LC-PUFA (Constant treatment), representing supplements, vs. a large weekly dose of n-3 LC-PUFA (Spike treatment), representing consuming once or twice per week, was assessed. Six-week old healthy male Sprague-Dawley rats were fed either a Constant treatment, a Spike treatment or Control treatment (no n-3 LC-PUFA), for six weeks. The whole body, tissues and faeces were analysed for fatty acid content. The results showed that the major metabolic fate of the n-3 LC-PUFA (EPA+docosapentaenoic acid (DPA) + DHA) was towards catabolism (β-oxidation) accounting for over 70% of total dietary intake, whereas deposition accounted less than 25% of total dietary intake. It was found that significantly more n-3 LC-PUFA were β-oxidised when originating from the Constant treatment (84% of dose), compared with the Spike treatment (75% of dose). Conversely, it was found that significantly more n-3 LC-PUFA were deposited when originating from the Spike treatment (23% of dose), than from the Constant treatment (15% of dose). These unexpected findings show that a large dose of n-3 LC-PUFA once per week is more effective in increasing whole body n-3 LC-PUFA content in rats compared with a smaller dose delivered daily. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Impact of Genotype on EPA and DHA Status and Responsiveness to Increased Intakes
Nutrients 2016, 8(3), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8030123 - 02 Mar 2016
Cited by 22
Abstract
At a population level, cardioprotective and cognitive actions of the fish oil (FO) derived long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC n-3 PUFAs) eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) have been extensively demonstrated. In addition to dietary intake, which is limited [...] Read more.
At a population level, cardioprotective and cognitive actions of the fish oil (FO) derived long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC n-3 PUFAs) eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) have been extensively demonstrated. In addition to dietary intake, which is limited for many individuals, EPA and DHA status is dependent on the efficiency of their biosynthesis from α-linolenic acid. Gender and common gene variants have been identified as influencing the rate-limiting desaturase and elongase enzymes. Response to a particular intake or status is also highly heterogeneous and likely influenced by genetic variants which impact on EPA and DHA metabolism and tissue partitioning, transcription factor activity, or physiological end-point regulation. Here, available literature relating genotype to tissue LC n-3 PUFA status and response to FO intervention is considered. It is concluded that the available evidence is relatively limited, with much of the variability unexplained, though APOE and FADS genotypes are emerging as being important. Although genotype × LC n-3 PUFA interactions have been described for a number of phenotypes, few have been confirmed in independent studies. A more comprehensive understanding of the genetic, physiological and behavioural modulators of EPA and DHA status and response to intervention is needed to allow refinement of current dietary LC n-3 PUFA recommendations and stratification of advice to “vulnerable” and responsive subgroups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue DHA for Optimal Health) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessReview
Docosahexaenoic Acid and Cognition throughout the Lifespan
Nutrients 2016, 8(2), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8020099 - 17 Feb 2016
Cited by 73
Abstract
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is the predominant omega-3 (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) found in the brain and can affect neurological function by modulating signal transduction pathways, neurotransmission, neurogenesis, myelination, membrane receptor function, synaptic plasticity, neuroinflammation, membrane integrity and membrane organization. DHA [...] Read more.
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is the predominant omega-3 (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) found in the brain and can affect neurological function by modulating signal transduction pathways, neurotransmission, neurogenesis, myelination, membrane receptor function, synaptic plasticity, neuroinflammation, membrane integrity and membrane organization. DHA is rapidly accumulated in the brain during gestation and early infancy, and the availability of DHA via transfer from maternal stores impacts the degree of DHA incorporation into neural tissues. The consumption of DHA leads to many positive physiological and behavioral effects, including those on cognition. Advanced cognitive function is uniquely human, and the optimal development and aging of cognitive abilities has profound impacts on quality of life, productivity, and advancement of society in general. However, the modern diet typically lacks appreciable amounts of DHA. Therefore, in modern populations, maintaining optimal levels of DHA in the brain throughout the lifespan likely requires obtaining preformed DHA via dietary or supplemental sources. In this review, we examine the role of DHA in optimal cognition during development, adulthood, and aging with a focus on human evidence and putative mechanisms of action. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue DHA for Optimal Health) Printed Edition available
Open AccessReview
DHA Effects in Brain Development and Function
Nutrients 2016, 8(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8010006 - 04 Jan 2016
Cited by 81
Abstract
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is a structural constituent of membranes specifically in the central nervous system. Its accumulation in the fetal brain takes place mainly during the last trimester of pregnancy and continues at very high rates up to the end of the second [...] Read more.
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is a structural constituent of membranes specifically in the central nervous system. Its accumulation in the fetal brain takes place mainly during the last trimester of pregnancy and continues at very high rates up to the end of the second year of life. Since the endogenous formation of DHA seems to be relatively low, DHA intake may contribute to optimal conditions for brain development. We performed a narrative review on research on the associations between DHA levels and brain development and function throughout the lifespan. Data from cell and animal studies justify the indication of DHA in relation to brain function for neuronal cell growth and differentiation as well as in relation to neuronal signaling. Most data from human studies concern the contribution of DHA to optimal visual acuity development. Accumulating data indicate that DHA may have effects on the brain in infancy, and recent studies indicate that the effect of DHA may depend on gender and genotype of genes involved in the endogenous synthesis of DHA. While DHA levels may affect early development, potential effects are also increasingly recognized during childhood and adult life, suggesting a role of DHA in cognitive decline and in relation to major psychiatric disorders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue DHA for Optimal Health) Printed Edition available
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