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Keywords:

  • Algae oil;
  • bioavailability;
  • docosahexaenoic acid;
  • eicosapentaenoic acid;
  • nanoemulsion;
  • omega-3;
  • yogurt

Summary

Global trends show that habitual omega-3 intakes are short of recommended guidelines, particularly among vegetarians. Subsequently, alternative dietary sources of long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC3PUFA) from vegetarian sources are needed. Food technology methods are advancing, and nanoemulsion technologies have improved the bioavailability of certain lipid-based nutrients. This study examined whether ingestion of an omega-3 algal oil nanoemulsion led to improved bioavailability compared to the bulk oil. Eleven subjects completed a single-blind, randomised crossover trial, with a 21-day washout between interventions. Results demonstrated that LC3PUFA absorption from the nanoemulsion was significantly higher than the bulk oil. Percentage blood fatty acids were significantly increased for docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; 0.05) while LC3PUFA: PUFA ratios increased ( 0.05) and omega-6:omega-3 ratios were reduced (= 0.028). Larger and longer intervention studies are now needed, but these preliminary findings demonstrate that nanoemulsion technology may improve the absorption of omega-3 fatty acids.