Dose-dependent consumption of farmed Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) increases plasma phospholipid n-3 fatty acids differentially

J Acad Nutr Diet. 2013 Feb;113(2):282-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2012.09.022.


Enhanced n-3 fatty acid intake benefits cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk reduction. Increasing consumption at a population level may be better addressed by diet than through supplementation. However, limited data are available on the effect of the dose response to fish intake on plasma levels of n-3 fatty acids. To compare the effects of different doses of farmed Atlantic salmon on plasma phospholipid fatty acid proportions and CVD risk biomarkers (eg, glucose, insulin, homeostasis model of assessment-insulin resistance, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, and interleukin-6) in healthy subjects we performed a randomized three-period crossover-designed trial (4-week treatment, 4- to 8-week washout) to compare the effects of twice per week consumption of farmed Atlantic salmon at doses of 90, 180, and 270 g in 19 apparently healthy men and women (mean age 40 to 65 years) and a body mass index between 25 and 34.9. All study visits were conducted at the US Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center. Eicosapentaenoic acid and total n-3 concentrations were increased (P<0.05) by all treatments in a dose-response manner, with total n-3 of 8.03% ± 0.26% and 9.21% ± 0.26% for 180- and 270-g doses, respectively. Linoleic acid did not change in response to treatment, whereas arachidonic acid (P<0.05) and total n-6 fatty acids decreased dose dependently (<0.0001). The addition of farmed Atlantic salmon to the diet twice per week for 4 weeks at portions of 180 g and 270 g modifies phospholipid fatty acid proportions of n-3 and n-6 in a level associated with decreased risk for CVD.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Body Mass Index
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids / blood
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid / blood
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / administration & dosage*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / blood*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-6 / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Interleukin-6 / blood
  • Linoleic Acid / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Salmo salar*
  • Seafood
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Biomarkers
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-6
  • Insulin
  • Interleukin-6
  • Triglycerides
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Linoleic Acid
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid