Seafood and human health

In addition to studies on n-3 LC-PUFA in fish, the Nutrition Group is also involved in studies investigating the use of n-3 LC-PUFA in improving aspects of human health. In one study (The FISH DISH study) is being conducted in collaboration with the Rowett Research Institute in Aberdeen and BioMar Ltd. The study will investigate the potential health benefits to human consumers of feeding two levels of n-3 LC PUFA to healthy volunteers/subjects attending the Human Nutrition Unit (HNU). The two salmon products are a Health Diet containing 15% n-3 LC-PUFA and a Sustainable diet containing 7% n-3 LC-PUFA. Participants will be allocated to either the Health or Sustainable diets nd a third control group that will have eaten no fish for 18 wks. Participants will visit the HNU on 3 occasions at start, 9 and 18 wks. Blood samples will be collected and the Omega-3 index, vitamin D, selenium, bleeding time, plasma lipids, glucose, insulin, inflammatory and oxidative stress markers will be measured.

Another study entitled 'Fish oils and sport performance: investigating applications in muscle anabolism and recovery', is being conducted jointly with the Health & Exercise Research Group in Stirling & Glasgow Health Solutions Ltd. This project is investigating the impact of increasing dietary intake of fish oil on anti-inflammatory properties linked to n-3 LC-PUFA consumption. This study aims to characterise the time course of n-3 LC-PUFA incorporation into skeletal muscle following fish oil supplementation and involves healthy male participants consuming fish oil capsules for 4 weeks. Muscle biopsies and fasted venous blood samples were obtained 2 weeks prior, and at 0, 1, 2 and 4 weeks of fish oil supplementation for assessment of lipid composition changes. The results showed that longer periods of supplementation are required to achieve stable n-3 PUFA content in skeletal muscle tissue at the ingestion dose used in this study. These data indicate a slower time-course of n-3 LC-PUFA incorporation into muscle compared to blood, likely reflecting tissue turnover times. Additional studies with the Health & Exercise Research Group & Glasgow Health Solutions Ltd include a 4-week fish oil intervention study on footballers with an emphasis on the impact of fish oils on immune-related biomarkers. A further study, funded by the Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation, involves the analysis of blood fatty acids and muscle phospholipid compositions.