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ISSFAL Official Statement Number 6: The importance of measuring blood omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid levels in research

de Groot RHM, Meyer BJ (2019) Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids.  2019 Nov: 102029. doi: 10.1016/j.plefa.2019.102029. [Epub ahead of print] 

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Abstract:

statement on measuring blood omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid levels was developed and edited based on input from ISSFAL members and accepted by vote of the ISSFAL Board of Directors.

Summary of 
StatementOmega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3 LCPUFA) levels at baseline and post-intervention should be assessed and reported in future research to evaluate the efficacy of n-3 LCPUFA supplementation, because:
  1. there are numerous factors that affect n-3 LCPUFA levels in humans as described in the systematic literature review
  2. assessing intake of n-3 LCPUFA from the diet and/or supplements is not sufficient to accurately determine n-3 LCPUFA 
  3. some studies do not provide sufficient doses of n-3 LCPUFA to produce a significant impact on bloodstream/organ content and there is substantial variability in the uptake of n-3 LPCUFA into tissues between individuals.
In secondary analyses, clinical trials should consider the influence of fatty acid status (baseline, endpoint and change from baseline to endpoint) on the outcome variables.