Bioavailability of Marine n-3 Fatty Acid Formulations

Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2010 Sep;83(3):137-41. doi: 10.1016/j.plefa.2010.06.007.

Abstract

The use of marine n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) as supplements has prompted the development of concentrated formulations to overcome compliance problems. The present study compares three concentrated preparations - ethyl esters, free fatty acids and re-esterified triglycerides - with placebo oil in a double-blinded design, and with fish body oil and cod liver oil in single-blinded arms. Seventy-two volunteers were given approximately 3.3g of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) plus docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) daily for 2 weeks. Increases in absolute amounts of EPA and DHA in fasting serum triglycerides, cholesterol esters and phospholipids were examined. Bioavailability of EPA+DHA from re-esterified triglycerides was superior (124%) compared with natural fish oil, whereas the bioavailability from ethyl esters was inferior (73%). Free fatty acid bioavailability (91%) did not differ significantly from natural triglycerides. The stereochemistry of fatty acid in acylglycerols did not influence the bioavailability of EPA and DHA.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biological Availability
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids / administration & dosage
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids / pharmacokinetics*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid / pharmacokinetics*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / administration & dosage
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / pharmacokinetics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Triglycerides / blood

Substances

  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Triglycerides
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids
  • Cholesterol
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid