Selective enrichment of n-3 fatty acids in human plasma lipid motifs following intake of marine fish☆
Plasma levels of n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) are associated with a reduction in risk of cardiovascular disease and other chronic, age-related diseases like Alzheimer's disease. In this work, we tested the hypothesis that n-3 LCPUFA fatty acids in human plasma are incorporated into selective lipid species following intake of n-3 LCPUFA rich marine fish. To test this hypothesis, we performed lipidomic analysis on plasma samples from a clinical trial in which participants consumed increasing amounts of farmed Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). Under basal conditions, n-3 and n-6 LCPUFA were selectively incorporated into plasma phosphatidylcholine (PC) species containing saturated fatty acids (SFA) versus unsaturated fatty acids as the complementary fatty acids. LCPUFA were incorporated into selective triacylglycerol (TAG) species with complementary diacylglyceryl environments of 34:1 or 34:2 (for 20:5 and 22:5) and 36:2>36:3>36:4 and 36:1 (for 20:4 and 22:6). High n-3 LCPUFA marine fish intake resulted in selective increases of PC SFA_n-3 LCPUFA species and LCPUFA-containing TAG species. Changes in cholesteryl esters and phosphatidylethanolamines also occurred following fish intake. Our results highlight the importance of discriminating phospholipid and TAG species and dietary background when evaluating lipidomic outcomes and disease associations.