Study Title:

DHA Boosts Adiponectin in Overweight Insulin-Resistant Women

Study Abstract

BACKGROUND: Obesity, inflammation, insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk are inter-related. Both weight-loss and long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC n-3 PUFA) are independently known to reduce metabolic risk, but the combined effects are unclear.

OBJECTIVE: This study examines whether addition of LC n-3 PUFA to a low fat/high carbohydrate weight-loss programme results in greater improvements in inflammation, insulin sensitivity and CVD risk, than weight-loss alone.

DESIGN: One hundred and sixteen overweight insulin-resistant women entered a 24-week randomised intervention study. Thirty-nine women were randomised to a weight-loss programme, with LC n-3 PUFA (WLFO), 38 to a weight-loss programme with placebo oil (WLPO), and 39 to receive placebo oil, with no weight-loss programme (control).

RESULTS: Ninety-three women completed the study (35 WLFO, 32 WLPO and 26 control), with significant weight-loss in WLFO (10.8+/-1.0%) and WLPO (12.4+/-1.0%) compared to the control group (P<0.0001). The WLFO, but not WLPO or control group, showed significant increases in adipose tissue LC n-3 PUFA (0.34+/-0.20 vs 0.17+/-0.10 and 0.16+/-0.10 %DHA, P<0.0001). Weight-loss showed significant improvements in insulin sensitivity (P<0.001), lipid profile (triglycerides P<0.05) and inflammation (sialic acid P<0.05). Time*group effects showed significant decreases in triglycerides (P<0.05) and increases in adiponectin (P<0.01) with LC n-3 PUFA, in the WLFO vs WLPO groups.

CONCLUSIONS: Weight-loss improved risk factors associated with CVD, with some additional benefits of LC n-3 PUFA on triglycerides and adiponectin. Given the current low dietary intake of LC n-3 PUFA, greater attention should be given to increase these fatty acids in the treatment of obesity.

Study Information

Krebs JD, Browning LM, McLean NK, Rothwell JL, Mishra GD, Moore CS, Jebb SA.
Additive benefits of long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and weight-loss in the management of cardiovascular disease risk in overweight hyperinsulinaemic women.
Int J Obes (Lond).
2006 October
MRC Human Nutrition Research, Elsie Widdowson Laboratory, Cambridge, UK.

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