One-Year Effects of Omega-3 Treatment on Fatty Acids, Oxylipins, and Related Bioactive Lipids and Their Associations with Clinical Lipid and Inflammatory Biomarkers: Findings from a Substudy of the Vitamin D and Omega-3 Trial (VITAL)

Metabolites. 2020 Oct 27;10(11):431. doi: 10.3390/metabo10110431.


Omega-3 (n-3) treatment may lower cardiovascular risk, yet its effects on the circulating lipidome and relation to cardiovascular risk biomarkers are unclear. We hypothesized that n-3 treatment is associated with favorable changes in downstream fatty acids (FAs), oxylipins, bioactive lipids, clinical lipid and inflammatory biomarkers. We examined these VITAL200, a nested substudy of 200 subjects balanced on demographics and treatment and randomly selected from the Vitamin D and Omega-3 Trial (VITAL). VITAL is a randomized double-blind trial of 840 mg/d eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) + docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) vs. placebo among 25,871 individuals. Small polar bioactive lipid features, oxylipins and FAs from plasma and red blood cells were measured using three independent assaying techniques at baseline and one year. The Women's Health Study (WHS) was used for replication with dietary n-3 intake. Randomized n-3 treatment led to changes in 143 FAs, oxylipins and bioactive lipids (False Discovery Rate (FDR) < 0.05 in VITAL200, validated (p-values < 0.05)) in WHS with increases in 95 including EPA, DHA, n-3 docosapentaenoic acid (DPA-n3), and decreases in 48 including DPA-n6, dihomo gamma linolenic (DGLA), adrenic and arachidonic acids. N-3 related changes in the bioactive lipidome were heterogeneously associated with changes in clinical lipid and inflammatory biomarkers. N-3 treatment significantly modulates the bioactive lipidome, which may contribute to its clinical benefits.

Keywords: bioactive lipids; clinical trial; free fatty acids; inflammatory biomarkers; lipids; metabolomics; omega-3; oxylipins.