Basal omega-3 fatty acid status affects fatty acid and oxylipin responses to high-dose n3-HUFA in healthy volunteers

Alison H. Keenan, Theresa L. Pedersen, Kristi Fillaus, Mark K. Larson, Gregory C. Shearer, John W. Newman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


A subject's baseline FA composition may influence the ability of dietary highly unsaturated omega-3 FAs (n3-HUFA) to change circulating profiles of esterified FAs and their oxygenated metabolites. This study evaluates the influence of basal n3-HUFA and n3-oxylipin status on the magnitude of response to n3-HUFA consumption. Blood was collected from fasting subjects (n = 30) before and after treatment (4 weeks; 11 ± 2 mg/kg/day n3-HUFA ethyl esters). Esterified FAs were quantified in erythrocytes, platelets, and plasma by GC-MS. Esterified oxylipins were quantified in plasma by LC-MS/MS. Treatment with n3- HUFAs increased n3-HUFAs and decreased n6-HUFAs in all reservoirs and increased plasma n3-oxylipins without signifi cantly changing n6-oxylipin concentrations. As subject basal n3-HUFAs increased, treatment-associated changes decreased, and this behavior was reflected in the percentage of 20:5n3 + 22:6n3 in red blood cell membrane FAs (i.e., the omega-3 index). To maintain an omega-3 index of 8% and thus reduce cardiovascular disease risk, our analyses suggest a maintenance dose of 7 mg/kg/day n3-HUFA ethyl esters for a 70-kg individual. These results suggest that the basal n3 index may have clinical utility to establish efficacious therapeutic experimental feeding regimens and to evaluate the USDA Dietary Guidelines recommendations for n3-HUFA consumption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1662-1669
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Lipid Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Basal omega-3 fatty acid status affects fatty acid and oxylipin responses to high-dose n3-HUFA in healthy volunteers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this