Research: CUNDIFF and COLLEAGUES,

Listed in Issue 155

Abstract

CUNDIFF and COLLEAGUES, Department of Internal Medicine, Los Angeles County and USC Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, USA. dkcundiff3@verizon.net  note that data supporting the inverse correlation of fish or long-chain omega-3 fatty acid (FA) (eicosapentaenoic acid plus docosahexaenoic acid) supplement consumption and coronary heart disease are inconclusive, and may be confounded by other dietary and lifestyle factors.

Background

Methodology

Using the Diabetic Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) database (n = 1,441), correlations between consumption of omega-3 FAs and saturated FAs to dietary variables (kilocalories, macronutrients, sodium, and cholesterol) and to age, gender, exercise level, and tobacco use were tested using Pearson correlation coefficients.

Results

Long-chain omega-3 FA intake inversely correlated with consumption of calories (r = -0.16, p <0.0001), percent calories from total fat (r = -0.14, p <0.0001), and percent calories from saturated FAs (r = -0.21, p <0.0001), and directly with dietary fibre intake (grams per 1,000 kcal, r = 0.20, p <0.0001). In the DCCT database, long-chain omega-3 FAs (i.e., fish consumption) inversely correlated with an overall low risk nutritional profile for coronary heart disease.

Conclusion

These findings provide evidence that associations observed in studies suggesting a benefit of fish or long-chain omega-3 FAs may be due to a convergence of greater fish intakes with an overall healthier dietary pattern, rather than with a specific effect of long-chain omega-3 FAs.

References

Cundiff DK, Lanou AJ, and  Nigg CR. Relation of omega-3 Fatty Acid intake to other dietary factors known to reduce coronary heart disease risk. American Journal of Cardiology. 99(9): 1230-3 May 1 2007.

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