Kinetics of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids when co-administered with saturated or omega-6 fats

Cintia B. Dias, Lisa G. Wood, Melinda Phang, Manohar Lal Garg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Absorption of long chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCn-3PUFA) has been shown to be potentiated when consumed with a high fat meal. However, the effect of different dietary fats on n-3PUFA absorption and postprandial kinetics has not been previously studied. Method: In a randomized cross-over design intervention, postprandial incorporation of LCn-3PUFA into plasma lipids following consumption of a meal rich in either saturated fat or omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-6PUFA) was investigated. Healthy adult male and female subjects (n = 26) were fed an isocaloric meal containing equivalent amount of either butter or sunflower seed oil supplemented with 1.8 grams of LCn-3PUFA (300 mg eicosapentaenoic acid, 20:5n-3 and 1500 mg docosahexaenoic acid, 22:6n-3). Results: Postprandial plasma lipids were enriched with saturated fatty acids and linoleic acid (18:2n-6) following consumption of the butter and the sunflower oil containing meals respectively. The increase in plasma 20:5n-3 and 22:6n-3 levels over the 6 hour study period was similar in both the saturated and the n-6 fat groups. Conclusion: These results suggest that the expected competition between LCn-3PUFA and n-6PUFA at the absorption level is unlikely; therefore competition at the enzymatic level should be primarily responsible for differences in their metabolic and clinical effects. Trial registered with the Australia New Zealand Trial registry as ACTRN12612000654853.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1658-1666
Number of pages9
JournalMetabolism: Clinical and Experimental
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids
  • n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids
  • Plasma fatty acids
  • Postprandial effects
  • Saturated fatty acids


Dive into the research topics of 'Kinetics of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids when co-administered with saturated or omega-6 fats'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this