Welch AA, Bingham SA, Ive J, Friesen MD, Wareham NJ, Riboli E et al.. Dietary fish intake and plasma phospholipid n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid concentrations in men and women in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer-Norfolk United Kingdom cohort. Am J Clin Nutr 84, 1330-1339

Department of Public Health and Primary Care and the Clinical Gerontology Unit, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Impact Factor: 6.77). 01/2007; 84(6):1330-9.
Source: PubMed


The n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid, found in fish and fish-oil supplements and also formed by conversion of alpha-linolenic acid in soy and rapeseed (canola) oils, are thought to have cardioprotective effects.
Because the relative feasibility and measurement error of dietary methods varies, this study compared fish and fish-oil intakes obtained from 4 dietary methods with plasma n-3 PUFAs in men and women in a general population.
The study participants were 4949 men and women aged 40-79 y from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer-Norfolk United Kingdom cohort. Measurements of plasma phospholipid n-3 PUFA concentrations and fish intakes were made with the use of 4 dietary methods (food-frequency questionnaire, health and lifestyle questionnaire, 7-d diary, and first-day recall from the 7-d diary).
Amounts of fish consumed and relations with plasma phospholipid n-3 PUFAs were not substantially different between the 4 dietary methods. Plasma n-3 PUFA concentrations were significantly higher in women than in men, were 20% higher in fish-oil consumers than in non-fish-oil consumers, and were twice as high in fatty fish consumers as in total fish consumers. Only approximately 25% of the variation in plasma n-3 PUFA was explained by fish and fish-oil consumption.
This large study found no substantial differences between dietary methods and observed clear sex differences in plasma n-3 PUFAs. Because variation in n-3 PUFA was only partially determined by fish and fish-oil consumption, this could explain the inconsistent results of observational and intervention studies on coronary artery disease protection.

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    ABSTRACT: Specific blood levels of eicosapentaenoic plus docosahexaenoic acid (EPA+DHA, wt% of total) in erythrocytes or “the omega-3 index” have been recommended for cardio-protection, but fatty acids are often measured in different blood fractions. The ability to estimate the % of EPA+DHA in erythrocytes from the fatty acid composition of other blood fractions would enable clinical assessments of omega-3 status when erythrocyte fractions are not available and increase the ability to compare blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids across clinical studies. The fatty acid composition of baseline plasma, erythrocytes and whole blood samples from participants (n=1104) in a prospective, multicenter study examining acute coronary syndrome were determined. The ability to predict the % of EPA+DHA in erythrocytes from other blood fractions were examined using bivariate and multiple linear regression modelling. Concordance analysis was also used to compare the actual erythrocytes EPA+DHA values to values estimated from other blood fractions. EPA+DHA in erythrocytes was significantly (p<0.001) correlated EPA+DHA in plasma (r2=0.54) and whole blood (r2=0.79). Using multiple linear regression to predict EPA+DHA in erythrocytes resulted in stronger coefficients of determination in both plasma (R2=0.70) and whole blood (R2=0.84). Concordance analyses indicated agreement between actual and estimated EPA+DHA in erythrocytes, although estimating from plasma fatty acids appears to require translation by categorization rather than by translation as continuous data. This study shows that the fatty acid composition of different blood fractions can be used to estimate erythrocyte EPA+DHA in a population with acute coronary syndrome.
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    • "Reductions in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) intake, which is especially important for brain development of fetuses, newborns, toddlers, and children, are most critical (Kris-Etherton et al. 2002; Lee et al. 2009). Because up to 25% of omega-3 PUFAs are taken up with fish (Welch et al. 2006), markedly reducing fish consumption would also reduce their intake significantly. "
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    ABSTRACT: Because human exposure to persistent organic pollutants (POPs) mainly occurs through ingestion of contaminated food, regulatory bodies issue dietary consumption advisories to describe safe intake levels for food items of concern, particularly fish. Our study goal was to estimate the effectiveness of fish consumption advisories in reducing exposure of infants and children to POPs. We used the time-variant mechanistic model CoZMoMAN to estimate and compare prenatal, postnatal, and childhood exposure to polychlorinated biphenyl congener PCB-153 under different scenarios of maternal guideline adherence for both hypothetical constant and realistic time-variant chemical emissions. The scenarios differed in term of length of compliance (1 vs. 5 years), extent of fish substitution (all vs. half), and replacement diet (uncontaminated produce vs. beef). We also estimated potential exposure reductions for a range of theoretical chemicals to explore how guideline effectiveness varies with a chemical's partitioning and degradation properties. When assuming realistic time periods of advisory compliance, our findings suggest that temporarily eliminating or reducing maternal fish consumption is largely ineffective in reducing pre- and postnatal exposure to substances with long elimination half-lives in humans, especially during periods of decreasing environmental emissions. Substituting fish with beef may actually result in higher exposure to certain groups of environmental contaminants. On the other hand, advisories may be highly effective in reducing exposure to substances with elimination half-lives in humans shorter than the length of compliance. Our model estimates suggest that fish consumption advisories are unlikely to be effective in reducing prenatal, postnatal, and childhood exposures to compounds with long elimination half-lives in humans.
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