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Plasma Phospholipid Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Freshwater Fish Consumption in the Brazilian Amazon

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DOI: 10.4236/fns.2013.49A1021    4,430 Downloads   6,024 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Background: Amazonian riverside communities consume large quantities of freshwater fish, comparable to marine fish consumption of Inuit, Scandinavian and Japanese populations. Few studies have considered the relation of high freshwater fish consumption and intake of omega-3 fatty acids (FA). Objective: The objective of the present study was to determine the profile of the concentrations of plasma phospholipid FAs and its relation with freshwater fish intake in 12 riverside communities in the Tapajós River basin (State of Pará, Brazilian Amazon). Design: This cross-sectional study included 333 adults (15 - 86 years old). Fish meal frequency was determined using a 7-day interview-administered dietary recall questionnaire. Fish were categorized as piscivorous and non-piscivorous fish on trophic level. Plasma phospholipid FAs were measured by capillary gas-liquid chromatography. Results: Participants consumed 5 to 6 fish meals a week, with twice as many non-piscivorous fish than piscivorous fish (4.4 fish/week vs 2.2 fish/week, respectively). The omega-3 FA levels in plasma phospholipids were low (EPA + DHA = 31.21 mg/L; %EPA + DHA = 2.59%). Omega-3 FAs increased with frequency of fish intake, and particularly with piscivorous fish, controlling for sociodemographic, anthropometric and lifestyle characteristics. DHA levels were greater in women than in men. Conclusions: Omega-3 FA in this Amazonian population increased with fish consumption, but although they consumed freshwater fish almost daily, the concentrations of omega-3 FA were relatively low and comparable to fish-eater communities for which fish is not a dietary mainstay. It is possible that nutrients present in marine, but not in certain freshwater fish species, may facilitate absorption of omega-3 FA. Sex and/or gender differences must be taken into account when assessing the relationship between fish consumption and plasma phospholipid omega-3 FA levels.


Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

A. Philibert, M. Fillion, J. DeGuire, H. Weiler, C. Passos, M. Lemire and D. Mergler, "Plasma Phospholipid Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Freshwater Fish Consumption in the Brazilian Amazon," Food and Nutrition Sciences, Vol. 4 No. 9A, 2013, pp. 137-149. doi: 10.4236/fns.2013.49A1021.

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