Lack of effect of supplementation with EPA or DHA on platelet-monocyte aggregates and vascular function in healthy men

S. C. Cottin*, A. Alsaleh, T. A.B. Sanders, W. L. Hall

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Aims

Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) found in fish oil are postulated to have favourable effects on platelet, endothelial and vascular function. We investigated whether EPA has differential effects on in vivo platelet aggregation and other markers of cardiovascular risk compared to DHA.

Methods and Results

Following a 2 wk run-in taking encapsulated refined olive oil, 48 healthy young men were randomly allocated using a parallel design to receive EPA-rich (3.1 g EPA/d) or DHA-rich (2.9 g DHA/d) triglyceride concentrates or refined olive oil (placebo), for a total supplementary lipid intake of 5 g/d. The specified primary outcome was change in platelet monocyte aggregates (PMA); secondary outcomes were capillary density, augmentation index, digital pulse volume measurements, 24 h ambulatory BP, plasma 8-isoprostanes-F2α. Changes in the proportions of DHA and EPA in erythrocytes and non-esterified fatty acid composition indicated compliance to the intervention. There was no significant treatment effect on PMA (P = 0.382); mean changes (%) (95% CI) were placebo −0.5 (−2.0, 1.04), EPA 0.4 (−0.8, 1.6), DHA 0.3 (−1.5, 2.0). R-QUICKI, an index of insulin sensitivity, was greater following EPA compared to placebo (P < 0.05). No other significant differences were noted.


Neither EPA- nor DHA-rich fish oil supplementation influence platelet-monocyte aggregation or several markers of vascular function after 6 wk in healthy young males. This trial was registered at as NCT01735357.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)743-751
Number of pages9
JournalNutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases
Issue number8
Early online date14 Mar 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Fish oils
  • EPA
  • DHA
  • Platelet
  • Vascular function


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