EPA + DHA at 1.48g Shows No Benefit in Humans


Supplementation with a low-moderate dose of n-3 long-chain PUFA has no short-term effect on bone resorption in human adults.

Previous research suggests that n-3 PUFA may play a role in bone health. The present analysis aimed to investigate the impact of n-3 PUFA supplementation on bone resorption in adult men and women. Serum samples from 113 mild-moderately depressed individuals (twenty-six males and eighty-seven females, aged 18-67 years) randomised to receive 1.48 g EPA+DHA/d (n 53) or placebo (n 60) for 12 weeks as part of a large recent randomised controlled trial were assayed for n-3 PUFA status and a bone resorption marker, C-terminal cross-linking telopeptide of type 1 collagen (β-CTX). Regression analyses revealed that n-3 PUFA status following supplementation was associated with randomisation (placebo/n-3 PUFA) (B = 3.25, 95 % CI 2.60, 3.91, P < 0.01). However, β-CTX status following supplementation was not associated with randomisation (B = – 0.01, 95 % CI – 0.03, 0.04). Change in β-CTX status was also not associated with change in n-3 PUFA status (B = – 0.002, 95 % CI – 0.01, 0.01). These findings provide no evidence for an association between n-3 PUFA supplementation (1.48 g EPA+DHA/d) for 12 weeks and bone resorption in humans assessed by β-CTX, and suggest that n-3 PUFA supplementation may be unlikely to be of benefit in preventing bone loss.

Appleton KM, Fraser WD, Rogers PJ, Ness AR…
Br. J. Nutr. Apr 2011
PMID: 21129235

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