Effect of Plant Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids on Exercise Performance

2016-01-14 12:53:24 | BioPortfolio


Many studies in the past three decades have examined the beneficial effects of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in diet and supplementation. The effect of polyunsaturated fatty acids, specifically omega-3 and omega-6, on health have been well-studied but most of the study to date has been on animal not plant sources and much less is know about their effects on exercise performance. Additionally, while positive effects have been detected for sedentary populations or those that are at risk, well-trained athletes generally have not had established advantages in taking supplements for omega-3 and omega-6 oils. There is evidence that a specific ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 is most beneficial for the human body with regards to cardiovascular and mental health. In this study, participants randomized to either a plant supplement group (pureform omega; containing Flax, Evening Primrose, Sunflower, Coconut & Pumpkin oils; Natural Product Number = 80050660) or placebo (isoenergetic sugar pills) will be subjected to both a time trial and a high intensity interval bout, where their performance and power output will be analyzed. Blood lactate and glucose concentration, as well as oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production will also be examined to determine if there is a change in on fat oxidation after supplementation.


Double-blind placebo controlled study with two groups: a PUFA supplemented group (over 5 weeks) and a placebo (corn syrup) group. Participants are matched for initial exercise performance and assigned to each of the two groups systematically so the initial group means are similar. This is done by ranking all individuals from highest to lowest and assigning the participant with the highest score randomly to the treatment group and the other to the placebo group. Then, for the next two individuals in ranking, the highest of the two is assigned to the placebo group and the other to the treatment group. This procedure is repeated for all participant pairs. Of course, this is done separately for men and women because on average the men have greater exercise performance scores.

Dosage is 3.8 capsules/70kg body mass (rounded to the nearest capsule; 1 capsule contains 369mg PUFA from Flax, Evening Primrose, Pumpkin, Sunflower, and Coconut oil; <4 Calories) or isoenergetic placebo capsules (containing corn syrup) plus 2 capsules 20 minutes prior to exercise workouts. Eighteen recreationally active student volunteers (18-35 years old) will be recruited to complete 4 exercise tests: a cycle time trial (~15 minutes), a cycle maximal power test (30 second Wingate test), a maximal aerobic power test (running treadmill test) plus a strength/endurance test (number of bench presses with 60 kg load) pre- and post 5 weeks of daily supplementation. There will an accommodation day pre-study where each participant is familiarized with the tests to be used. Each exercise test will be completed on a separate day with at least 48 hours between each test day due to the fatiguing nature of the testing.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Investigator)


Effect of Essential Fatty Acids on Exercise Performance


corn syrup, Polyunsaturated fatty acid


Exercise Nutrition Research Laboratory, Western University
N6A 3K7


Not yet recruiting


University of Western Ontario, Canada

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2016-01-14T12:53:24-0500

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Syrup made from corn used widely in foods and beverages as a cheaper alternative sweetener to SUCROSE (common table sugar). It is generated by enzymatic processing of natural corn syrup to produce a liquid most widely composed of 42 or 55% FRUCTOSE, GLUCOSE, and various POLYSACCHARIDES.

A doubly unsaturated fatty acid, occurring widely in plant glycosides. It is an essential fatty acid in mammalian nutrition and is used in the biosynthesis of prostaglandins and cell membranes. (From Stedman, 26th ed)

An enzyme that catalyzes reversibly the hydration of unsaturated fatty acyl-CoA to yield beta-hydroxyacyl-CoA. It plays a role in the oxidation of fatty acids and in mitochondrial fatty acid synthesis, has broad specificity, and is most active with crotonyl-CoA. EC

UNSATURATED FATTY ACIDS that contain at least one double bond in the trans configuration, which results in a greater bond angle than the cis configuration. This results in a more extended fatty acid chain similar to SATURATED FATTY ACIDS, with closer packing and reduced fluidity. HYDROGENATION of unsaturated fatty acids increases the trans content.

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