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Differential effects of DHA- and EPA-rich oils on sleep in healthy young adults: a randomised controlled trial

Differential effects of DHA- and EPA-rich oils on sleep in healthy young adults: a randomised controlled trial
Differential effects of DHA- and EPA-rich oils on sleep in healthy young adults: a randomised controlled trial
Emerging evidence suggests that adequate intake of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs), which include docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), might be associated with better sleep quality. N-3 PUFAs, which must be acquired from dietary sources, are typically consumed at suboptimal levels in Western diets. Therefore, the current placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized trial, investigated the effects of an oil rich in either DHA or EPA on sleep quality in healthy adults who habitually consumed low amounts of oily fish. Eighty-fourparticipants aged 25–49 years completed the 26-week intervention trial. Compared to placebo, improvements in actigraphy sleep efficiency (p = 0.030) and latency (p = 0.026) were observed following the DHArich oil. However, these participants also reported feeling less energetic compared to the placebo (p = 0.041), and less rested (p = 0.017), and there was a trend towards feeling less ready to perform (p = 0.075) than those given EPA-rich oil. A trend towards improved sleep efficiency was identified in the EPA-rich group compared to placebo (p = 0.087), along with a significant decrease in both total time in bed (p = 0.032) and total sleep time (p = 0.019) compared to the DHA-rich oil. No significant effects of either treatment were identified for urinary excretion of the major melatonin metabolite 6-sulfatoxymelatonin. This study was the first to demonstrate some positive effects of dietary supplementation with n-3 PUFAs in healthy adult normal sleepers, and provides novel evidence showing the differential effects of n-3 PUFA supplements rich in either DHA or EPA. Further investigation into the mechanisms underpinning these observations including the effects of n-3 PUFAs on sleep architecture are required.
Actigraphy, Docosahexaenoic acid, Eicosapentaenoic acid, Omega-3, SMEDS, Sleep
2072-6643
248
Patan, Michael J.
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Kennedy, David O.
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Husberg, Cathrine
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Hustvedt, Svein-Olaf
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Calder, Philip
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Middleton, Benita
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Khan, Julie
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Forster, Joanne
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Jackson, Philippa A.
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Patan, Michael J.
3b1bf45a-2082-48c6-b2f0-2f9ca407b4f6
Kennedy, David O.
78181e2b-199d-410c-9815-8d75fd95fff2
Husberg, Cathrine
76d6ce2f-2138-4bb6-935e-72f316cbbed2
Hustvedt, Svein-Olaf
f491132a-4897-4795-980d-7bd957e746f9
Calder, Philip
1797e54f-378e-4dcb-80a4-3e30018f07a6
Middleton, Benita
81dbec8c-1dcc-4cc7-9acd-31838eb00018
Khan, Julie
295c8e64-ae52-4392-b5a7-530ab9b5bc07
Forster, Joanne
51ace5e7-4bb5-4a56-a478-5020d4faf5bb
Jackson, Philippa A.
53e83f35-7165-4fb2-ba29-95db752b47a1

Patan, Michael J., Kennedy, David O., Husberg, Cathrine, Hustvedt, Svein-Olaf, Calder, Philip, Middleton, Benita, Khan, Julie, Forster, Joanne and Jackson, Philippa A. (2021) Differential effects of DHA- and EPA-rich oils on sleep in healthy young adults: a randomised controlled trial. Nutrients, 13 (1), 248, [248]. (doi:10.3390/nu13010248).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Emerging evidence suggests that adequate intake of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs), which include docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), might be associated with better sleep quality. N-3 PUFAs, which must be acquired from dietary sources, are typically consumed at suboptimal levels in Western diets. Therefore, the current placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized trial, investigated the effects of an oil rich in either DHA or EPA on sleep quality in healthy adults who habitually consumed low amounts of oily fish. Eighty-fourparticipants aged 25–49 years completed the 26-week intervention trial. Compared to placebo, improvements in actigraphy sleep efficiency (p = 0.030) and latency (p = 0.026) were observed following the DHArich oil. However, these participants also reported feeling less energetic compared to the placebo (p = 0.041), and less rested (p = 0.017), and there was a trend towards feeling less ready to perform (p = 0.075) than those given EPA-rich oil. A trend towards improved sleep efficiency was identified in the EPA-rich group compared to placebo (p = 0.087), along with a significant decrease in both total time in bed (p = 0.032) and total sleep time (p = 0.019) compared to the DHA-rich oil. No significant effects of either treatment were identified for urinary excretion of the major melatonin metabolite 6-sulfatoxymelatonin. This study was the first to demonstrate some positive effects of dietary supplementation with n-3 PUFAs in healthy adult normal sleepers, and provides novel evidence showing the differential effects of n-3 PUFA supplements rich in either DHA or EPA. Further investigation into the mechanisms underpinning these observations including the effects of n-3 PUFAs on sleep architecture are required.

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Accepted/In Press date: 13 January 2021
e-pub ahead of print date: 16 January 2021
Keywords: Actigraphy, Docosahexaenoic acid, Eicosapentaenoic acid, Omega-3, SMEDS, Sleep

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 446152
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/446152
ISSN: 2072-6643
PURE UUID: 9df7547b-947e-476d-99e3-8d70f6abd22f
ORCID for Philip Calder: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-6038-710X

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 22 Jan 2021 17:30
Last modified: 26 Nov 2021 02:38

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Contributors

Author: Michael J. Patan
Author: David O. Kennedy
Author: Cathrine Husberg
Author: Svein-Olaf Hustvedt
Author: Philip Calder ORCID iD
Author: Benita Middleton
Author: Julie Khan
Author: Joanne Forster
Author: Philippa A. Jackson

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