Distinct Influence of Omega-3 Fatty Acids on the Plasma Metabolome of Healthy Older Adults

Souzana Eirini Xyda, Ivan Vuckovic, Xuan Mai Petterson, Surendra Dasari, Antigoni Z. Lalia, Mojtaba Parvizi, Slobodan I. Macura, Ian R. Lanza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n3-PUFA) are well recognized for their potent triglyceride-lowering effects, but the potential influence of these bioactive lipids on other biological processes, particularly in the context of healthy aging, remains unknown. With the goal of gaining new insight into some less well-characterized biological effects of n3-PUFAs in healthy older adults, we performed metabolomics of fasting peripheral blood plasma collected from 12 young adults and 12 older adults before and after an open-label intervention of n3-PUFA (3.9 g/day, 2.7 g eicosapentaenoic [EPA], 1.2 g docosahexaenoic [DHA]). Proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H-NMR) based lipoprotein subclass analysis revealed the expected reduction in total triglyceride (TG), but also demonstrated that n3-PUFA supplementation reduced very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) particle number, modestly increased high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, and shifted the composition of HDL subclasses. Further metabolite profiling by 1H-NMR and mass spectrometry revealed pronounced changes in phospholipids, cholesterol esters, diglycerides, and triglycerides following n3-PUFA supplementation. Furthermore, significant changes in hydroxyproline, kynurenine, and 3-carboxy-4-methyl-5-propyl-2-furanpropionic acid (CMPF) following n3-PUFA supplementation provide further insight into some less well-recognized biological effects of n3-PUFA supplementation, including possible effects on protein metabolism, the kynurenine pathway, and glucose metabolism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)875-884
Number of pages10
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 17 2020


  • DHA
  • EPA
  • Lipoproteins
  • Metabolomics
  • n3-PUFA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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