Academic article

Bioavailability of n-3 fatty acids from n-3 enriched foods and fish oil with different oxidative quality in healthy humans – a randomized single meal cross-over study

Ottestad, Inger; Nordvi, Berit; Vogt, Kjell Gjermund; Holck, Marianne; Halvorsen, Bente; Brønner, Kirsti Wettre; Retterstøl, Kjetil; Holven, Kirsten Bjørklund; Nilsson, Astrid; Ulven, Stine Marie

Publication details

Journal: Journal of Nutritional Science, vol. 5, p. 1–8, 2016

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Issue: e43

International Standard Numbers:
Printed: 2048-6790
Electronic: 2048-6790

Open Access: gold


Regular consumption of long-chain n-3 fatty acids (LC n-3 FA) reduces postprandial triacylglycerolaemia. Functional foods and supplements are alternative sources of LC n-3 FA; however, emulsification technologies, food matrices and altered lipid oxidation levels affect their bioavailability. Moreover, which functional foods are optimal LC n-3 FA carriers is unknown. The aim of the study was to determine the bioavailability of LC n-3 FA and the postprandial TAG response after the intake of oxidised or non-oxidised cod liver oil and after the intake of emulsified or non-emulsified LC n-3 FA using novel functional food items as LC n-3 FA carriers in a randomised cross-over acute study. A total of twenty-four healthy subjects completed the study in which subjects consumed one of four different test meals containing 1·5 g LC n-3 FA, or a control meal with no LC n-3 FA. Postprandial TAG-rich lipoproteins were isolated and their fatty acid composition was measured. The LC n-3 FA from emulsified foods were more rapidly incorporated into TAG-rich lipoproteins compared with non-emulsified foods. The incorporation of LC n-3 FA was similar for oils emulsified in yogurt or juice and was unaffected by the oxidative status of the oil. Postprandial TAG levels did not differ among the various test meals. In conclusion, emulsification increases the bioavailability of LC n-3 FA through a more rapid incorporation into TAG-rich lipoproteins, and juice and yogurt are equally suited as LC n-3 FA carriers. The acute intake of oxidised cod liver oil does not influence the incorporation of LC n-3 FA into TAG-rich lipoproteins.