Effects of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on heart rate variability at rest and during acute stress in adults with moderate hypertriglyceridemia

Katherine A. Sauder, Ann C. Skulas-Ray, Tavis S. Campbell, Jillian A. Johnson, Penny M. Kris-Etherton, Sheila G. West

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: This study examined the dose-dependent effects of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) supplementation on heart rate variability (HRV) at rest and during standard laboratory stress tasks. We also investigated whether EPA + DHA supplementation was associated with changes in mood state. METHODS: This placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized, three-period crossover trial (8-week treatment, 6-week washout) compared two doses of EPA + DHA supplementation (0.85 and 3.4 g/d) in 26 adults with elevated triglycerides. After each treatment period, HRV was assessed during an acute stress protocol that included a resting baseline, standard laboratory stress tasks (speech task and cold pressor), and recovery periods. In addition, mood state was assessed. RESULTS: Root mean square of successive differences in interbeat interval and total power increased 9.9% and 20.6%, respectively, after the high dose relative to placebo (Tukey p = .016 and .012, respectively). The low dose was not significantly different from the high dose or placebo dose. There was a trend for a treatment effect on high-frequency HRV (p = .058), with 21.0% greater power observed after the high dose compared with placebo (Tukey p = .052). Mood did not differ between treatments, and there was no association between mood state and HRV. CONCLUSIONS: In healthy adults with elevated triglycerides, supplementation of 3.4 g/d EPA + DHA resulted in greater HRV, whereas 0.85 g/d EPA + DHA had no effect. These results indicate that EPA + DHA supplementation may improve autonomic tone in adults at increased risk for cardiovascular disease within 8 weeks. TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT00504309(ClinicalTrials.gov).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)382-389
Number of pages8
JournalPsychosomatic medicine
Volume75
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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