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 clinicaltrials.gov as NCT01735357.