The Effects of Fish Oil Supplementation on Cardiovascular Health


Merk, L., Michael, C., Rackley, S., O’Brien K., Kramerenko, J., Sanders, J. Shippensburg

University, Shippensburg, PA.

Recent research suggests that omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids present in fish oil can reduce the prevalence of CVD and can be beneficial to overall health. Purpose: This study examined if supplementing with fish oil can provide cardio-protective benefits. Methods: In this double blind study, eight female and male subjects (Age: 20.9±1.6 years, Weight: 168.3±48.7 lbs; Height: 167.4±48.7cm) were randomly assigned to either placebo (P) or fish oil (FO) group. FO group consumed 300 ml of fish oil per day for five weeks while P group consumed one vitamin B12 tablet per day. Subjects’ heart rate (HR), blood pressure (BP), low-density lipoproteins (LDL), high-density lipoproteins (HDL), triglycerides (TG), total cholesterol (TC), muscle soreness (RPE), glucose (GLU), blood lactate levels (BL), and muscle inflammation (MI) were measured at baseline, week two, and week five. During each visit, subjects also completed a submaximal cycle exercise test. A two way analysis of variance was used to examine the differences between groups and time. Results: There was no significant difference in total cholesterol before and after five weeks of FO supplementation (M±SD: 180.8±41.0 vs. 188.2±40.0 mg/dl, p>0.05). No significant change in systolic BP was found either (M±SD: 122.4±21.5 vs. 138.0±11.6 mmHg, p>0.05). There was no significant change in BL or RPE. However, a trend of reduced exercise HR, after supplementation, was shown in FO group (173.4±15.2 vs. 162±8.8 bpm; p=0.12) but not in P group. Conclusion: Five weeks of FO supplementation in young individuals had no significant changes in their cardiovascular measures.

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