Michael J James, Virginia M Ursin and LeslieG Cleland
1 From the Rheumatology Unit, Royal Adelaide Hospital, Adelaide, Australia (MJJ and LGC), and Calgene LLC, Davis, California (VMU).Background: For many persons who wish to obtain the health benefits provided by dietary n-3 fatty acids, daily ingestion of fish or fish oil is not a sustainablelong-term approach. To increase the number of sustainable dietary options, a land-based source of n-3 fatty acids that is effective in increasing tissueconcentrations of the long-chain n-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is required.
Objective: The objective of the study wasto examine the ability of dietary stearidonic acid (SDA) to increase tissue concentrations of EPA and DHA in healthy human subjects and to compare theeffectiveness of SDA with that of the n-3 fatty acids α-linolenic acid (ALA) and EPA.
Design: Encapsulated SDA, ALA, or EPA was ingested daily in doses of0.75 g and then 1.5 g for periods of 3 wk each by healthy male and postmenopausal female subjects (n = 15/group) in a double-blind, parallel-group design.Results: Dietary SDA increased EPA and docosapentaenoic acid concentrations but not DHA concentrations in erythrocyte and in plasma phospholipids. Therelative effectiveness of the tested dietary fatty acids in increasing tissue EPA was 1:0.3:0.07 for EPA:SDA:ALA.