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Incorporation and washout of orally administered n-3 fatty acid ethyl esters in different plasma lipid fractions

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 March 2007

Sonja D. Zuijdgeest-van Leeuwen
Affiliation:
Institute of Internal Medicine II, Erasmus University of Rotterdam, PO Box 1738, 3000 DR Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Pieter C. Dagnelie*
Affiliation:
Department of Epidemiology, Maastricht University, PO Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands
Trinet Rietveld
Affiliation:
Institute of Internal Medicine II, Erasmus University of Rotterdam, PO Box 1738, 3000 DR Rotterdam, The Netherlands
J.Willem O. van den Berg
Affiliation:
Institute of Internal Medicine II, Erasmus University of Rotterdam, PO Box 1738, 3000 DR Rotterdam, The Netherlands
J. H. Paul Wilson
Affiliation:
Institute of Internal Medicine II, Erasmus University of Rotterdam, PO Box 1738, 3000 DR Rotterdam, The Netherlands
*
*Corresponding author: Dr Pieter Dagnelie, fax +31 43 361 8685, email Dagnelie@epid.unimaas.nl
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Abstract

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The aim of the present study was to quantify the incorporation of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) into plasma lipids after oral administration of n-3 fatty acid ethyl esters, since little is known about the rate and pattern of incorporation into plasma lipid fractions. In addition, we aimed to obtain preliminary information regarding EPA half-life, which is needed to establish an optimal dosing schedule. Five healthy volunteers ingested two 8·5 g doses of n-3 fatty acid ethyl esters daily for 7 d, supplying 6·0 g EPA/d and 5·3 g DHA/d. The fatty acid compositions of plasma phospholipids (PL), cholesteryl esters (CE) and triacylglycerols (TAG) were determined during supplementation and during a washout period of 7 d. Half-lives of EPA and DHA were calculated. The proportion of EPA in PL showed a 15-fold increase after 7 d (P < 0·001), while DHA showed a smaller increase (P < 0·01). In CE, EPA also increased (P < 0·05), while DHA did not increase at all. Remarkably, incorporation of DHA into TAG was even higher than that of EPA. Half-life of EPA in PL ranged from 1·63 to 2·31 d (mean 1·97 (se 0·15) d), whereas mean half-life of EPA in CE was 3·27 (se 0·56) d. In three subjects, washout of EPA and DHA from TAG seemed to follow a bi-exponential pattern, with a short half-life (< 1 d) in the initial phase and a half-life of several days in the second phase. In conclusion, EPA ethyl esters are rapidly incorporated into plasma lipids, especially into PL. The relatively long half-life of EPA in plasma would permit a dosing schedule with intervals of ≥12 h in supplementation studies.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Nutrition Society 1999

References

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Incorporation and washout of orally administered n-3 fatty acid ethyl esters in different plasma lipid fractions
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