Exercise plus n-3 fatty acids: additive effect on postprandial lipemia

Metabolism. 2004 Oct;53(10):1365-71. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2004.05.012.


The purpose of this study was to examine changes in postprandial lipemia (PPL) in recreationally active males following aerobic exercise, omega-3 fatty acids (n-3FA) supplementation, and the combination of the two. PPL following a high-fat meal was measured in 10 recreationally active males (25 +/-1.5 years) under each of the following conditions: no exercise and no n-3 FA supplementation (control); exercise and no n-3FA supplementation (exercise); n-3FA supplementation and no exercise (n-3FA); and exercise and n-3 FA supplementation (combined). Blood was collected before the high-fat meal and at 2, 4, 6, and 8 hours after the meal to assess the PPL response. Supplementation consisted of 4.0 g of n-3FA per day for 5 weeks. Triglyceride (TG) peak response, the total area under the TG curve (TG-AUCT), and the incremental area under the TG curve (TG-AUCI) were used to define the PPL response. TG peak response was significantly reduced 38% by n-3FA supplementation and 50% by the combination of exercise and n-3FA supplementation. N-3FAs significantly reduced the TG-AUCT by 27% and by 42% when combined with exercise. When compared with the exercise trial, the TG-AUCT during the combined trial was significantly lower. Exercise, n-3FAs, and the combination significantly reduced the TG-AUCI by 40%, 42%, and 58%, respectively. These results suggest that the combination of exercise and n-3FA supplementation reduce PPL to a greater degree in recreationally active males when compared with the individual treatments.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Area Under Curve
  • Body Composition / physiology
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Energy Intake
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Exercise Test
  • Fatty Acids / blood
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Lipoprotein Lipase / metabolism
  • Liver / enzymology
  • Male
  • Oxygen Consumption / drug effects
  • Postprandial Period / physiology*
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Fatty Acids
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Lipids
  • Triglycerides
  • Lipoprotein Lipase