A study published in the journal Nutrition Research looked at whether olive oil intake, fish consumption, and omega-3 supplementation would increase the levels of red blood cell oleic acid and the omega-3 index of a person. This study was conducted by a team of researchers from the U.S. and Italy.
The research team looked at 461 participants from the Gruppo Italiano per lo Studio della Sopravvivenza nell'Infarto Miocardico–Heart Failure (GISSI-HF) study.
The participants took either an olive oil placebo or an omega-3 supplement every day for three months. They also reported their usual olive oil and fish intakes.
Before and after the intervention, the researchers collected red blood cell samples from the participants to measure their omega-3 index.
They found that red blood cell oleic acid levels reflected the participants’ olive oil intake, while omega-3 levels reflected fish consumption and omega-3 supplementation.
After treatment, the omega-3 index of the participants who took the omega-3 supplement increased.
At three months, more participants reached the proposed target omega-3 index level of eight to 12 percent.
In conclusion, the findings suggested that olive oil consumption could increase red blood cell oleic acid levels, while fatty fish intake and omega-3 supplementation could increase omega-3 levels.
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Harris WS, et al. RED BLOOD CELL OLEIC ACID LEVELS REFLECT OLIVE OIL INTAKE WHILE OMEGA-3 LEVELS REFLECT FISH INTAKE AND THE USE OF OMEGA-3 ACID ETHYL ESTERS: THE GRUPPO ITALIANO PER LO STUDIO DELLA SOPRAVVIVENZA NELL'INFARTO MIOCARDICO–HEART FAILURE TRIAL. Nutrition Research. September 2016; 36(9): 989-994. DOI: 10.1016/j.nutres.2016.06.012