Intrinsic heart rate recovery after dynamic exercise is improved with an increased omega-3 index in
Dietary fish consumption contributes to a reduced risk of cardiac mortality. In the present study, the effect of low-dose fish oil (FO) supplementation on heart rate (HR) response to intense exercise and recovery was investigated in physically fit males. The subjects (n 26) were supplemented (double-blind, parallel design) with (2 × 1 g/d) soya bean oil (control) or tuna FO providing the long-chain n-3 PUFA DHA (560 mg) and EPA (140 mg). Erythrocyte omega-3 index (%EPA+DHA), HR, HR variability and HR recovery were analysed during rest, intense exercise and recovery at baseline and after 8 weeks of supplementation. The mean erythrocyte omega-3 index, which did not differ between the groups at baseline (control 4.2 (sem 0.2), n 13; FO 4.7 (sem 0.2), n 13), remained unchanged in the control group (3.9 (sem 0.2)), but increased in the FO group (6.3 (sem 0.3), P< 0.01). The mean HR during supine resting conditions (control 56 (sem 10), FO 59 (sem 9)) was not affected by FO supplementation. Poincaré analysis of HR variability at rest exhibited a decreasing trend in parasympathetic activity in the FO group (SD1 (standard deviation of points perpendicular to the axis of line of identity)/SD2 (standard deviation of points along the axis of line of identity): control 0.02 (sem 0.01), FO - 0.05 (sem 0.02), P= 0.18). Peak HR was not affected by supplementation. However, during submaximal exercise over 5 min, fewer total heart beats were recorded in the FO group (-22 (sem 6) ( = -4.5 beats/min)), but not in the control group (+1 (sem 4)) (P< 0.05). Supine HR recovery (half-time) after cycling was significantly faster after FO supplementation (control - 0.4 (sem 1.2) s; FO - 8.0 (sem 1.7) s; P< 0.05). A low intake of FO increased the omega-3 index and reduced the mean exercise HR and improved HR recovery without compromising the peak HR. A direct influence of DHA via reductions in the cardiac intrinsic beat rate was balanced by a reciprocal decrease in vagal tone.
Intrinsic heart rate recovery after dynamic exercise is improved with an increased omega-3 index in healthy males. Br J Nutr. 2014 December