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Clemens von Schacky, Maximilian Kemper, Robert Haslbauer and Martin Halle

The Omega-3 Index is defined as erythrocyte eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and represents an individual’s status in these two marine omega-3 fatty acids. A target range of 8 to 11% has been suggested, because values below predispose to cardiovascular events, especially sudden cardiac death, as well as to suboptimal brain function, like prolonged reaction times or even depression. Compared with the general population, elite athletes have an increased incidence of sudden death. The Omega-3 Index has not yet been investigated in elite athletes. In an exploratory approach, we determined the Omega-3 Index in 106 consecutive German national elite winter endurance athletes presenting for preparticipation screening, using a well-established analytical procedure (HS-Omega-3 Index). Surprisingly, only one athlete had a value within the target range, but all others had values <8%. We conclude that we have identified a deficiency of EPA and DHA in these elite athletes. This deficiency presents a potential option for prevention of cardiovascular events such as sudden cardiac death, and improving aspects of brain function. It will be important to scrutinize our finding by more thorough epidemiologic studies and appropriate intervention trials.

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Dariush Sheikholeslami-Vatani, Slahadin Ahmadi and Hassan Faraji

.5 Isoleucine (g) 3.1 ± 0.8 3.5 ± 0.9 13.2 ± 0.7* Leucine (g) 5.3 ± 1.1 5.1 ± 1.2 8.4 ± 0.9* Valine (g) 3.3 ± 0.6 3.2 ± 0.8 8.6 ± 0.7* Note . Values are given in mean ±  SD . EPA = eicosapentaenoic acid; DHA = docosahexaenoic acid; BCAA = branch chain amino acids; RE = retinol equivalent. *Significant

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Charles L. Stebbins, Lauren E. Hammel, Benjamin J. Marshal, Espen E. Spangenberg and Timothy I. Musch

The polyunsaturated fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) affect vascular relaxation and involve factors (e.g., nitric oxide) that contribute to exercise-induced increases in skeletal-muscle blood flow (Q). The authors investigated whether DHA and EPA supplementation augments skeletal-muscle Q and vascular conductance (VC) and attenuates renal and splanchnic Q and VC in exercising rats. Rats were fed a diet of 5% lipids by weight, of which 20% was DHA and 30% EPA (PUFA group, n = 9), or 5% safflower oil (SO group, n = 8) for 6 wk. Heart rate (HR), blood pressure (MAP), and hind-limb, renal, and splanchnic Q were measured at rest and during moderate treadmill running. MAP, HR, and renal and splanchnic Q and VC were similar between the 2 groups at rest and during exercise. In the PUFA group, Q (158 ± 27 vs. 128 ± 28 ml · min−1 · 100 g−1) and VC (1.16 ± 0.21 vs. 0.92 ± 0.23 ml · min−1 · 100 g−1 · mm Hg−1) were greater in the exercising hind-limb muscle. Q and VC were also higher in 8 of 28 and 11 of 28 muscles and muscle parts, respectively. These increases were positively correlated to the percent sum of Types I and IIa fibers. Results suggest that DHA+EPA (a) enhances Q and VC in active skeletal muscle (especially Type I and IIa fibers) and that the increase in Q is due to an increase in cardiac output secondary to increases in VC and (b) has no apparent influence on vasoconstriction in renal and splanchnic tissue.

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David C. Nieman, Dru A. Henson, Steven R. McAnulty, Fuxia Jin and Kendra R. Maxwell

The purpose of this study was to test the influence of 2.4 g/d fish oil n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) over 6 wk on exercise performance, inflammation, and immune measures in 23 trained cyclists before and after a 3-d period of intense exercise. Participants were randomized to n-3 PUFA (n = 11; 2,000 mg eicosapentaenoic acid [EPA], 400 mg docosahexaenoic acid [DHA]) or placebo (n = 12) groups. They ingested supplements under double-blind methods for 6 wk before and during a 3-d period in which they cycled for 3 hr/d at ~57% Wmax with 10-km time trials inserted during the final 15 min of each 3-hr bout. Blood and saliva samples were collected before and after the 6-wk supplementation period, immediately after the 3-hr exercise bout on the third day, and 14 hr postexercise and analyzed for various immune-function and inflammation parameters. Supplementation with n-3 PUFA resulted in a significant increase in plasma EPA and DHA but had no effect on 10-km time-trial performance; preexercise outcome measures; exercise-induced increases in plasma cytokines, myeloperoxidase, blood total leukocytes, serum C-reactive protein, and creatine kinase; or the decrease in the salivary IgA:protein ratio. In conclusion, 6 wk supplementation with a large daily dose of n-3 PUFAs increased plasma EPA and DHA but had no effect on exercise performance or in countering measures of inflammation and immunity before or after a 3-d period of 9 hr of heavy exertion.

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Manuela Konrad, David C. Nieman, Dru A. Henson, Krista M. Kennerly, Fuxia Jin and Sandra J. Wallner-Liebmann

This study tested the acute anti-inflammatory and immune-modulating influence of a quercetin-based supplement consumed by endurance athletes 15 min before an intense 2-hr run. In this randomized, crossover study, 20 runners (11 men, 9 women, age 38.4 ± 2.1 yr) completed two 2-hr treadmill runs at 70% VO2max (3 wk apart). Subjects ingested either 4 quercetin-based chews (Q-chew) or placebo chews (PL) 15 min before the runs. The 4 Q-chews provided 1,000 mg quercetin, 120 mg epigallocatechin 3-gallate, 400 mg isoquercetin, 400 mg each eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, 1,000 mg vitamin C, and 40 mg niacinamide. Subjects provided blood samples 30 min before, immediately after, and 1 hr postexercise and were analyzed for plasma quercetin, total blood leukocytes (WBC), C-reactive protein (CRP), 9 cytokines (IL-6, TNFα, GM-CSF, IFNγ, IL-1β, IL-2, IL-8, IL-10, and IL-12p70), granulocyte (GR) and monocyte (MO) phagocytosis (PHAG), and oxidative-burst activity (OBA). Plasma quercetin increased from 80.0 ± 26.0 μg/L to 6,337 ± 414 μg/L immediately postexercise and 4,324 ± 310 μg/L 1 hr postexercise after ingestion of Q-chews, compared with no change in PL (p < .001). Exercise caused significant increases in, CRP, GM-CSF, IL-10, IL-1β, IL-2, IL-6, IL-8, TNFα, GR-PHAG, and MO-PHAG and decreases in GR-OBA and MO-OBA, but no differences in the pattern of change were measured between Q-chew and PL trials. Acute ingestion of Q-chews 15 min before heavy exertion caused a strong increase in plasma quercetin levels but did not counter postexercise inflammation or immune changes relative to placebo.

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Patrick B. Wilson and Leilani A. Madrigal

Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) have important physiological functions and may offer select benefits for athletic performance and recovery. The purpose of this investigation was to assess dietary and whole blood omega-3 PUFAs among collegiate athletes. In addition, a brief questionnaire was evaluated as a valid tool for quantifying omega-3 PUFA intake. Fifty-eight athletes (9 males, 49 females) completed a 21-item questionnaire developed to assess omega-3 PUFA intake and provided dried whole blood samples to quantify α-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and the HS-Omega-3 Index. Geometric means (95% confidence intervals) for the HS-Omega-3 Index were 4.79% (4.37–5.25%) and 4.75% (4.50–5.01%) for males and females, respectively. Median dietary intakes of ALA, EPA, and DHA were all below 100 mg. Among females, several dietary omega-3 PUFA variables were positively associated with whole blood EPA, with total EPA (rho = 0.67, p < .001) and total DHA (rho = 0.69, p < .001) intakes showing the strongest correlations. Whole blood DHA among females showed positive associations with dietary intakes, with total EPA (rho = 0.62, p < .001) and total DHA (rho = 0.64, p < .001) intakes demonstrating the strongest correlations. The HS-Omega-3 Index in females was positively correlated with all dietary variables except ALA. Among males, the only significant correlation was between food and whole blood EPA (rho = 0.83, p < .01). Collegiate athletes had relatively low intakes of omega-3 PUFAs. A 21-item questionnaire may be useful for screening female athletes for poor omega-3 PUFA status.

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Lachlan Hingley, Michael J. Macartney, Marc A. Brown, Peter L. McLennan and Gregory E. Peoples

Dietary fish oil, providing docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) modulates oxygen consumption and fatigue in animal models. However, in humans predominately supplemented with high eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), there is no evidence of endurance performance enhancement. Therefore, this study examined if DHA-rich fish oil could improve repeated bouts of physiologically stressful cycling and a subsequent time trial in a state of fatigue. Twenty-six trained males took part in a double-blind study and were supplemented with either 2 × 1g/day soy oil, Control) or DHA-rich tuna fish oil (Nu-Mega) (FO) (560mg DHA / 140mg eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), for 8 weeks. Maximal cycling power (3 × 6s), isometric quadriceps strength (MVC), Wingate cycling protocol (6 × 30s) and a 5min cycling time-trial were assessed at baseline and eight weeks. The Omega-3 Index was not different at baseline (Control: 4.2 ± 0.2; FO: 4.7 ± 0.2%) and increased in the FO group after eight weeks (Control: 3.9 ± 0.2; FO: 6.3 ± 0.3%, p < .01). There was no effect of DHA-rich fish oil on power output of maximal 6s cycle sprinting (Control: Pre 1100 ± 49 Post 1067 ± 51; FO: Pre 1070 ± 46 Post 1042 ± 46W), during 5min time trail (Control: Pre 267 ± 19 Post 278 ± 20; FO: Pre 253 ± 16 Post 265 ± 16 W) or maximal voluntary contraction force (Control: Pre 273 ± 19 Post 251 ± 19; FO: Pre 287 ± 17 Post 283 ± 16 Nm). Nevertheless, relative oxygen consumption was reduced the FO group during the cycling time trial (Control: -23 ± 26; FO: -154 ± 59ml O2/min/100W p < .05) suggesting improved economy of cycling. We conclude that DHA-rich fish oil, successful at elevating the Omega-3 Index, and reflective of skeletal muscle membrane incorporation, can modulate oxygen consumption during intense exercise.

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Jordan D. Philpott, Chris Donnelly, Ian H. Walshe, Elizabeth E. MacKinley, James Dick, Stuart D.R. Galloway, Kevin D. Tipton and Oliver C. Witard

.1097/00002060-200211001-00007 Cohen , J. ( 1988 ). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences . Oxford, UK : Routledge . Corder , K.E. , Newsham , K.R. , McDaniel , J.L. , Ezekiel , U.R. , & Weiss , E.P. ( 2016 ). Effects of short-term docosahexaenoic acid supplementation on markers of inflammation after

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Christopher Rosimus

athlete was prescribed 2 × 1,000-mg omega-3 capsules (Healthspan 1,000-mg concentrated Fish Oil providing 200-mg docosahexaenoic acid and 300-mg eicosapentaenoic acid) per day for 6 weeks and to coincide with vitamin D ingestion, to aid its absorption. A daily multivitamin (Healthspan Gold Complete A

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Graeme L. Close, Craig Sale, Keith Baar and Stephane Bermon

900-mg docosahexaenoic acid) to permit detectable increases in muscle n-3 PUFA lipid composition ( McGlory et al., 2014 ). This level of n-3 PUFA supplementation is far in excess of what would be consumed in a typical diet and much greater than most suggested supplement regimes. Given that it is not