Body weight affects ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) accumulation in youth following supplementation in post-hoc analyses of a randomized controlled trial

PLoS One. 2017 Apr 5;12(4):e0173087. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0173087. eCollection 2017.

Abstract

Guidelines for suggested intake of ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are limited in youth and rely primarily on age. However, body weight varies considerably within age classifications. The current analyses examined effects of body weight and body mass index (BMI) on fatty acid accumulation in 64 youth (7-14 years) with a diagnosed mood disorder in a double-blind randomized-controlled trial (2000mg ω-3 supplements or a control capsule) across 12 weeks. Weight and height were measured at the first study visit and EPA and DHA levels were determined using fasting blood samples obtained at both the first and end-of-study visits. In the ω-3 supplementation group, higher baseline body weight predicted less plasma accumulation of both EPA [B = -0.047, (95% CI = -0.077; -0.017), β = -0.54, p = 0.003] and DHA [B = -0.02, (95% CI = -0.034; -0.007), β = -0.52, p = 0.004]. Similarly, higher BMI percentile as well as BMI category (underweight, normal weight, overweight/obese) predicted less accumulation of EPA and DHA (ps≤0.01). Adherence to supplementation was negatively correlated with BMI percentile [B = -0.002 (95% CI = -0.004; 0.00), β = -0.44, p = 0.019], but did not meaningfully affect observed associations. As intended, the control supplement exerted no significant effect on plasma levels of relevant fatty acids regardless of youth body parameters. These data show strong linear relationships of both absolute body weight and BMI percentile with ω-3 PUFA accumulation in youth. A dose-response effect was observed across the BMI spectrum. Given increasing variability in weight within BMI percentile ranges as youth age, dosing based on absolute weight should be considered. Moreover, effects of weight should be incorporated into statistical models in studies examining clinical effects of ω-3 PUFAs in youth as well as adults, as weight-related differences in effects may contribute meaningfully to inconsistencies in the current literature.

Trial registration: WHO International Clinical Trial Registry Platform NCT01341925 and NCT01507753.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight / physiology*
  • Child
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid / blood
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / administration & dosage*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / blood*
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / administration & dosage*
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obesity / blood
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Overweight / blood
  • Overweight / physiopathology

Substances

  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01341925
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01507753

Grant support

This research was supported by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health (R034 MH090148 & R034 MH85875). The project described was supported by the Ohio State University Clinical Research Center, funded by the National Center for Research Resources (UL1TR001070). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Center for Research Resources or the National Institutes of Health. NIH had no further role in study design; in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; and in the preparation or decision to submit the paper for publication.