The majority of studies on DHA’s effect on triglycerides, an important marker for heart health, have been conducted on men and post-menopausal women, the researchers argued in their report, published yesterday in the journal Nutrients.
Results from this latest study suggested a benefit for pre-menopausal women “of a similar degree to that observed in men and post-menopausal women,” the researchers reported, where participants who took the high DHA oil had approximately 20% lower plasma triglyceride levels from baseline.
An Australian Research Council Linkage Grant funded the study, with Nu-Mega Ingredients as an industry partner. Nu-Mega Ingredients provided its proprietary HiDHA tuna oil in 500 mg sized capsules that researchers used in the study.
Plasma triglyceride levels lowered according to increasing dose
The research team randomly assigned pre-menopausal women with mildly elevated triglycerides into four groups. Participants in three of the groups consumed HiDHA with various doses of long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (0.35 g/day, 0.7g/day, and 1 g/day).
The fourth group, the placebo group, consumed Sunola oil, which contained no long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid but contained other fatty acids such as monounsaturated and saturated fats. Fifty-three participants completed the study.
Daily doses of the capsules were provided in individual zip-lock bags. Participants kept a diary to record daily capsule intake and menstrual cycle status.
Participants visited the research clinic on two consecutive mornings each at the beginning of the study, and after approximately eight weeks (two menstrual cycles) of supplementation.
During these visits, researchers measured the participants’ plasma concentration of triglycerides and cholesterol. Though the research team observed improvements in plasma triglyceride levels, they did not observe any significant effects on cholesterol levels.
As the 1 g/day group experienced the most improved levels of plasma triglycerides, the researchers suggested, “Consumption in this dose range may be of particular significance in maintaining cardiovascular health in pre-menopausal women, given the greater contribution of triglyceride levels to their cardiovascular disease risk.”
Published online, doi:10.3390/nu10101460
“Effect of Low Dose Docosahexaenoic Acid-Rich Fish Oil on Plasma Lipids and Lipoproteins in Pre-Menopausal Women: A Dose–Response Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial”
Authors: Cassandra Sparkes, et al.