L. Brazionis, PhD, Senior Research Fellow
The effects of fish or fish oil on the omega-3 index
Article first published online: 28 FEB 2012
© 2012 The Authors. Nutrition & Dietetics © 2012 Dietitians Association of Australia
Nutrition & Dietetics
Volume 69, Issue 1, pages 5–12, March 2012
How to Cite
BRAZIONIS, L., TING, E., ITSIOPOULOS, C., WILSON, A. and HODGE, A. (2012), The effects of fish or fish oil on the omega-3 index. Nutrition & Dietetics, 69: 5–12. doi: 10.1111/j.1747-0080.2011.01566.x
E. Ting, Advanced Medical Science Student
C. Itsiopoulos, PhD, APD, Associate Professor
A. Wilson, PhD, Cardiologist
A. Hodge, PhD, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow
Author contributions: Study design: LB, CI and AW; conduct measurements: ET and LB; analyse data: ET and AH; prepare manuscript: ET, AH and LB; interpretation of findings and comment on manuscript: AH, ET, AW, LB and CI.
- Issue published online: 28 FEB 2012
- Article first published online: 28 FEB 2012
- Accepted May 2011
- coronary heart disease;
- long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid;
- omega-3 index;
Aim: To compare the impact of recommended intakes of fish and fish oil supplements on the omega-3 index and selected risk factors in patients with coronary heart disease.
Methods: A 12-week crossover intervention comparing the impact of 1 g/day of long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids from fresh salmon or fish oil capsules on the omega-3 index and cardiovascular risk factors. Eleven patients with coronary heart disease, recruited from St. Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne, participated in the study.
Results: A decrease in blood pressure (>5 mmHg; P < 0.05) was observed after the fish but not the fish oil. The change in waist to hip ratio also favoured the fish intervention. Resting heart rate fell by a similar amount on both interventions, and the omega-3 index increased significantly on both; from 6% to 7–8% (P < 0.01). Blood lipids did not improve on either arm.
Conclusions: In Australians with coronary heart disease, 1 g/day of long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid from fish or supplements over 12 weeks was effective in increasing the omega-3 index. Fish intake may have additional cardiovascular benefits beyond the omega-3 effect as evidenced by the substantial blood pressure reduction following the fish arm warranting examination in a larger study.