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Omega-3 dietary fatty acid status of healthy older adults in Tasmania, Australia: An observational study


Pittaway, JK and Chuang, LT and Ahuja, KDK and Beckett, JM and Glew, RH and Ball, MJ, Omega-3 dietary fatty acid status of healthy older adults in Tasmania, Australia: An observational study, Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging, 19, (5) pp. 505-510. ISSN 1279-7707 (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 Springer

DOI: doi:10.1007/s12603-015-0459-2


Objectives: To determine the dietary and supplement intake of omega-3 (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) of older Tasmanian adults; their plasma n-3 PUFA status and the relationship between n-3, PUFA intake and plasma status.

Design: Cross-sectional study.

Setting: Launceston and surrounding regions Tasmania, Australia.

Participants: Seventy-three community-dwelling older adults: 23 men aged 70 6.1 years and 50 women aged 70 6.7 years.

Measurements: A validated, semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire estimated dietary PUFA intake. The plasma phospholipid fraction of venous blood samples was analysed for fatty acid content. Anthropometric data was recorded.

Results: Thirty-five participants (48%) regularly ingested (a fish oil supplement. Their plasma n-3 PUFA profile contained significantly more eicosapentaenoic acid (EP odds ratio 3.14; 95% CI 1.37% to 7.30%; p<0.05) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (odds ratio 2.64; 95% CI) 1.16% to 6.01%; p<0.05) than non-supplement users. Fish and meat were the main dietary sources of n-3 PUFAs. Participants most commonly consumed fish 3-4 times per week. Significant associations of dietary α-linolenic acid (ALA), EPA, docosapentaenoic acid (DPA) and DHA with plasma n-3 PUFAs were noted but not always between dietary and plasma counterparts.

Conclusion: Without the use of fish oil supplements, most study participants were unable to meet the recommended daily intake of 0.5g EPA and DHA combined; however, the plasma n-3 PUFA profile of non-supplement-users was still robust compared to other Australian and overseas studies.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:dietary fatty acids, plasma fatty acids, omega-3 PUFA, n-3 PUFA, older adults, EPA and DHA
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Health services and systems not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Nutrition
UTAS Author:Pittaway, JK (Ms Jane Pittaway)
UTAS Author:Ahuja, KDK (Dr Kiran Ahuja)
UTAS Author:Beckett, JM (Dr Jeff Beckett)
UTAS Author:Ball, MJ (Professor Madeleine Ball)
ID Code:96655
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:8
Deposited By:Health Sciences
Deposited On:2014-11-14
Last Modified:2017-11-01

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