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

Ailsa A. Welch, Sheila A. Bingham, Jessica Ive, Marlin D. Friesen, Nick J. Wareham, Elio Riboli, K. T. Khaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: 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 α-linolenic acid in soy and rapeseed (canola) oils, are thought to have cardioprotective effects. Objective: 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-3PUFAs in men and women in a general population. Design: 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). Results: 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 ≈25% of the variation in plasma n-3 PUFA was explained by fish and fish-oil consumption. Conclusions: 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1330-1339
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Volume84
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006

Keywords

  • 7-d diary
  • Diet methods
  • Fish
  • Fish oils
  • n-3 Polyunsaturated fatty acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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