Dietary supplementation with eicosapentaenoic acid, but not with other long chain n-3 or n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, decreases natural killer cell activity in healthy subjects aged >55 y

Frank Thies, G. Nebe-von-Caron, J. R. Powell, P. Yaqoob, E. A. Newsholme, P. C. Calder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Background: Animal studies showed that dietary flaxseed oil [rich in the n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid alpha -linolenic acid (ALA)], evening primrose oil [rich in the n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid gamma -linolenic acid (GLA)], and fish oil [rich in the long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)] can decrease natural killer (NK) cell activity. There have been no studies of the effect on NK cell activity of adding these oils to the diet of humans.

Objective: Our objective was to determine the effect of dietary supplementation with oil blends rich in ALA, GLA, arachidonic acid (AA), DHA, or EPA plus DHA (fish oil) on the NK cell activity of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells.

Design: A randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, parallel study was conducted. Healthy subjects aged 55-75 y consumed 9 capsules/d for 12 wk; the capsules contained placebo oil (an 80:20 mix of palm and sunflower seed oils) or blends of placebo oil and oils rich in ALA, GLA, AA, DHA, or EPA plus DHA. Subjects in these groups consumed 2 g ALA, 770 mg GLA, 680 mg AA, 720 mg DHA, or 1 g EPA plus DHA (720 mg EPA + 280 mg DHA) daily, respectively. Total fat intake from the capsules was 4 g/d.

Results: The fatty acid composition of plasma phospholipids changed significantly in the GLA, AA, DHA, and fish oil groups. NK cell activity was not significantly affected by the placebo, ALA, GLA, AA, or DHA treatment. Fish oil caused a significant reduction (mean decline: 48%) in NK cell activity that was fully reversed by 4 wk after supplementation had ceased.

Conclusion: A moderate amount of EPA but not of other n-6 or n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids can decrease NK cell activity in healthy subjects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)539-548
Number of pages9
JournalThe American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Volume73
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2001

Keywords

  • fish oil
  • immunity
  • natural killer cell
  • n-6 fatty acid
  • n-3 fatty acid
  • polyunsaturated fatty acids
  • alpha-linolenic acid
  • gamma-linolenic acid
  • eicosapentaenoic acid
  • docosahexaenoic acid
  • arachidonic acid
  • OMEGA-3-FATTY-ACID FISH-OIL
  • RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL
  • SERUM-LIPID LEVELS
  • RENAL-TRANSPLANTATION
  • LYMPHOCYTE FUNCTIONS
  • ARACHIDONIC-ACID
  • DOCOSAHEXAENOIC ACID
  • BACTERIAL CLEARANCE
  • CYTOKINE PRODUCTION
  • (NZBXNZW)F1 MICE

Cite this

Dietary supplementation with eicosapentaenoic acid, but not with other long chain n-3 or n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, decreases natural killer cell activity in healthy subjects aged >55 y. / Thies, Frank; Nebe-von-Caron, G.; Powell, J. R.; Yaqoob, P.; Newsholme, E. A.; Calder, P. C.

In: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 73, 03.2001, p. 539-548.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "Background: Animal studies showed that dietary flaxseed oil [rich in the n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid alpha -linolenic acid (ALA)], evening primrose oil [rich in the n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid gamma -linolenic acid (GLA)], and fish oil [rich in the long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)] can decrease natural killer (NK) cell activity. There have been no studies of the effect on NK cell activity of adding these oils to the diet of humans.Objective: Our objective was to determine the effect of dietary supplementation with oil blends rich in ALA, GLA, arachidonic acid (AA), DHA, or EPA plus DHA (fish oil) on the NK cell activity of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells.Design: A randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, parallel study was conducted. Healthy subjects aged 55-75 y consumed 9 capsules/d for 12 wk; the capsules contained placebo oil (an 80:20 mix of palm and sunflower seed oils) or blends of placebo oil and oils rich in ALA, GLA, AA, DHA, or EPA plus DHA. Subjects in these groups consumed 2 g ALA, 770 mg GLA, 680 mg AA, 720 mg DHA, or 1 g EPA plus DHA (720 mg EPA + 280 mg DHA) daily, respectively. Total fat intake from the capsules was 4 g/d.Results: The fatty acid composition of plasma phospholipids changed significantly in the GLA, AA, DHA, and fish oil groups. NK cell activity was not significantly affected by the placebo, ALA, GLA, AA, or DHA treatment. Fish oil caused a significant reduction (mean decline: 48{\%}) in NK cell activity that was fully reversed by 4 wk after supplementation had ceased.Conclusion: A moderate amount of EPA but not of other n-6 or n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids can decrease NK cell activity in healthy subjects.",
keywords = "fish oil, immunity, natural killer cell, n-6 fatty acid, n-3 fatty acid, polyunsaturated fatty acids, alpha-linolenic acid, gamma-linolenic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid, docosahexaenoic acid, arachidonic acid, OMEGA-3-FATTY-ACID FISH-OIL, RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL, SERUM-LIPID LEVELS, RENAL-TRANSPLANTATION, LYMPHOCYTE FUNCTIONS, ARACHIDONIC-ACID, DOCOSAHEXAENOIC ACID, BACTERIAL CLEARANCE, CYTOKINE PRODUCTION, (NZBXNZW)F1 MICE",
author = "Frank Thies and G. Nebe-von-Caron and Powell, {J. R.} and P. Yaqoob and Newsholme, {E. A.} and Calder, {P. C.}",
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T1 - Dietary supplementation with eicosapentaenoic acid, but not with other long chain n-3 or n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, decreases natural killer cell activity in healthy subjects aged >55 y

AU - Thies, Frank

AU - Nebe-von-Caron, G.

AU - Powell, J. R.

AU - Yaqoob, P.

AU - Newsholme, E. A.

AU - Calder, P. C.

PY - 2001/3

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N2 - Background: Animal studies showed that dietary flaxseed oil [rich in the n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid alpha -linolenic acid (ALA)], evening primrose oil [rich in the n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid gamma -linolenic acid (GLA)], and fish oil [rich in the long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)] can decrease natural killer (NK) cell activity. There have been no studies of the effect on NK cell activity of adding these oils to the diet of humans.Objective: Our objective was to determine the effect of dietary supplementation with oil blends rich in ALA, GLA, arachidonic acid (AA), DHA, or EPA plus DHA (fish oil) on the NK cell activity of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells.Design: A randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, parallel study was conducted. Healthy subjects aged 55-75 y consumed 9 capsules/d for 12 wk; the capsules contained placebo oil (an 80:20 mix of palm and sunflower seed oils) or blends of placebo oil and oils rich in ALA, GLA, AA, DHA, or EPA plus DHA. Subjects in these groups consumed 2 g ALA, 770 mg GLA, 680 mg AA, 720 mg DHA, or 1 g EPA plus DHA (720 mg EPA + 280 mg DHA) daily, respectively. Total fat intake from the capsules was 4 g/d.Results: The fatty acid composition of plasma phospholipids changed significantly in the GLA, AA, DHA, and fish oil groups. NK cell activity was not significantly affected by the placebo, ALA, GLA, AA, or DHA treatment. Fish oil caused a significant reduction (mean decline: 48%) in NK cell activity that was fully reversed by 4 wk after supplementation had ceased.Conclusion: A moderate amount of EPA but not of other n-6 or n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids can decrease NK cell activity in healthy subjects.

AB - Background: Animal studies showed that dietary flaxseed oil [rich in the n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid alpha -linolenic acid (ALA)], evening primrose oil [rich in the n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid gamma -linolenic acid (GLA)], and fish oil [rich in the long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)] can decrease natural killer (NK) cell activity. There have been no studies of the effect on NK cell activity of adding these oils to the diet of humans.Objective: Our objective was to determine the effect of dietary supplementation with oil blends rich in ALA, GLA, arachidonic acid (AA), DHA, or EPA plus DHA (fish oil) on the NK cell activity of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells.Design: A randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, parallel study was conducted. Healthy subjects aged 55-75 y consumed 9 capsules/d for 12 wk; the capsules contained placebo oil (an 80:20 mix of palm and sunflower seed oils) or blends of placebo oil and oils rich in ALA, GLA, AA, DHA, or EPA plus DHA. Subjects in these groups consumed 2 g ALA, 770 mg GLA, 680 mg AA, 720 mg DHA, or 1 g EPA plus DHA (720 mg EPA + 280 mg DHA) daily, respectively. Total fat intake from the capsules was 4 g/d.Results: The fatty acid composition of plasma phospholipids changed significantly in the GLA, AA, DHA, and fish oil groups. NK cell activity was not significantly affected by the placebo, ALA, GLA, AA, or DHA treatment. Fish oil caused a significant reduction (mean decline: 48%) in NK cell activity that was fully reversed by 4 wk after supplementation had ceased.Conclusion: A moderate amount of EPA but not of other n-6 or n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids can decrease NK cell activity in healthy subjects.

KW - fish oil

KW - immunity

KW - natural killer cell

KW - n-6 fatty acid

KW - n-3 fatty acid

KW - polyunsaturated fatty acids

KW - alpha-linolenic acid

KW - gamma-linolenic acid

KW - eicosapentaenoic acid

KW - docosahexaenoic acid

KW - arachidonic acid

KW - OMEGA-3-FATTY-ACID FISH-OIL

KW - RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

KW - SERUM-LIPID LEVELS

KW - RENAL-TRANSPLANTATION

KW - LYMPHOCYTE FUNCTIONS

KW - ARACHIDONIC-ACID

KW - DOCOSAHEXAENOIC ACID

KW - BACTERIAL CLEARANCE

KW - CYTOKINE PRODUCTION

KW - (NZBXNZW)F1 MICE

M3 - Article

VL - 73

SP - 539

EP - 548

JO - The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

JF - The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

SN - 0002-9165

ER -