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Dose-dependent increases in heart rate variability and arterial compliance in overweight and obese adults with DHA-rich fish oil supplementation

  • Nicholas J. Sjoberg (a1), Catherine M. Milte (a1) (a2), Jonathan D. Buckley (a2), Peter R. C. Howe (a2), Alison M. Coates (a2) and David A. Saint (a1)...

Abstract

Heart rate (HR) variability and large arterial compliance can be improved using fish oils. DHA, a component of fish oil, has cardiovascular health benefits, but its effect on HR variability (HRV) and arterial compliance is yet to be quantified. Sixty-seven overweight or obese adults (thirty-six males and thirty-one females; 53 (sem 2) year; BMI 31·7 (sem 1·1) kg/m2) were randomly allocated to consume either 6 g/d sunola oil (control; n 17), fish oil (260 mg DHA+60 mg EPA per g) at doses of 2 g/d (n 16), 4 g/d (n 17) or 6 g/d (n 17). Blood pressure, HR and compliance of large and small arteries were measured while supine at baseline and after 12 weeks in all participants, and HRV was assessed in a subgroup of forty-six participants. There was no effect of fish oil on blood pressure, small artery compliance or HR. However, the low frequency:high frequency ratio of HRV decreased with increasing doses of fish oil (r − 0·34, P = 0·02), while large artery compliance increased (r 0·34, P = 0·006). Moreover, the changes in these biomarkers were significantly correlated (r − 0·31, P = 0·04) and may reflect fish oil-induced improvements in arterial function and cardiac autonomic regulation.

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Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Dr Alison Coates, fax +61 8 8302 2178, email alison.coates@unisa.edu.au

References

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