Sources of ω3 Fatty Acids in Arctic Diets and Their Effects on Red Cell and Breast Milk Fatty Acids in Canadian Inuit

  • Sheila M. Innis

Abstract

Considerable interest has been given to the relationship of dietary ω3 fatty acids, particularly eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5ω3), to human disease since the publication of epidaemiological data demonstrating a relationship in Greenland Eskimo between a diet containing large amounts of marine lipid and a low incidence of ischaemic heart disease1 – 5. The ensuing flurry of clinical and research studies have focused almost exclusively on diets high in fish or supplemented with fish oil concentrates, and the biochemistry of 20:5ω3, particularly as it relates to the ω6 fatty acid arachidonic acid (20:4ω6) and eicosanoid metabolism. These studies have shown that incorporation of dietary ω3 fatty acids, largely at the expense of ω6 fatty acids, into membrane structural lipid results in altered membrane physical properties and membrane-dependent biochemical and physiological processes6. Substantial knowledge on the function of 20:4ω6 and 20:5ω3 as substrates for eicosanoid synthesis has been gained, although much remains to be learnt on the specific relationship between diet and the tissue fatty acids pools utilized for eicosanoid production in vivo7. The epidaemiological association between a high marine lipid intake and a low prevalence of ischaemic heart disease also directed attention to the possible effects of ω3 fatty acids on cholesterol and triacylglycerol metabolism in both normo- and hyper-lipidaemia8. Despite considerable research, the efficacy of dietary fish in reducing disease incidence remains uncertain. Both a reduction9,10 and no reduction11,12 in ischaemic heart disease has been described in free-living populations with a high dietary fish intake.

Keywords

Fatty Acid Composition Breast Milk Ischaemic Heart Disease Marine Mammal Arctic Char 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    H.O. Bang and J. Dyerberg, Plasma lipids and lipoproteins in Greenlandic west coast Eskimos, Acta Med.. Scand. 192: 85–94 (1972).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    H.O. Bang and J. Dyerberg, The composition of food consumed by Greenland Eskimos. Acta Med. Scand. 200: 6973 (1976).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    H.O. Bang, J. Dyerberg, and A.B. Nielsen, A.B. Plasma lipid and lipoprotein pattern in Greenland west-coast Eskimos, Lancet 1: 1143–1146 (1971).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    H.O. Bang, J. Dyerberg, and H.M. Sinclair, The composition of the Eskimo food in north western Greenland, Amer. J. Clin. Nutr. 33: 2657–2661 (1980).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    J. Dyerberg, H.O. Bang, and N. Hjorne, Fatty acid composition of the plasma lipids in Greenland Eskimos, Amer. J. Clin. Nutr. 28: 958–966 (1975).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    S.S. Kantha, Dietary effects of fish oils on human health: A review of recent studies, Yale J. Biol. & Med. 60: 37–44 (1987).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    P. Hoffman and H.J. Mest, What about the effects of dietary lipids on endogenous prostanoid synthesis? A state-of-the-art review, Biomed. Biochem. Acta 46: 639650 (1987).Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    P.M. Herold and J.E. Kinsella, Fish oil consumption and decreased risk of cardiovascular disease: a comparison of findings from animal and human feeding trials. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 43: 566–598 (1986).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    D. Kromhout, E.B. Bosschieter, and C.L. Coulander, The inverse relation between fish consumption and 20-year mortality from coronary heart disease, New Engl. J. Med. 312: 1205–1209 (1985).Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    R.B. Shekelle, L.V. Missel, P. Oglesby, A.M. Shryolk, and J. Stamler, Fish consumption and mortality from coronary heart disease, New Engl. J. Med. 313: 820 (1985).Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    J.D. Curb and D.M. Reed, Letter to Editor (Fish consumption and mortality from coronary heart disease), New Engl. J. Med. 313: 821–822 (1985).Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    S.E. Norell, A. Ahlbom, M. Feychting, Fish consumption and mortality from coronary heart disease, Brit. Med. J. 293: 426 (1986).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    R.G. Ackman, S. Epstein, and C.A. Eaton, Differences in the fatty acid compositions of blubber fats from northwestern Atlantic finwhales (Balaenoptera Physalus) and harp seals (Pagophilus Groenlandica, Comp. Biochem. Physiol. 40B: 683–697 (1971).Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    F.R. Engelhardt and B.L. Walker, Fatty acid composition of the harp seal, Pagophilus Groenlandicus (Phoca Groenlandica), Comp. Biochem. Physiol. 47B: 169–179 (1974).Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    J. Exler and J.L. Weihrauch, Comprehensive evaluation of fatty acids in foods, J. Amer. Diet. Assoc. 69: 243–248 (1976).Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    S.M. Innis and H.V. Kuhnlein, The fatty acid of Northwestern-Canadian marine and terrestrial mammals, Acta Med. Scand. 222: 105–109 (1987).Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    T. Puustinen, K. Punnonen, and P. Uotila, The fatty acid composition of 12 North-European fish species, Acta Med. Scand. 218: 59–62 (1985).Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    G.C. West, J.J. Burns, and M. Modafferi, Fatty acid composition of blubber from the four species of Bering Sea phocid seals, Can. J. Zool. 57: 189–195 (1979).Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    G.C. West, J.J. Burns, and M. Modafferi, Fatty acid composition of Pacific walrus skin and blubber fats, Can. J. Zool. 57: 1249–1255 (1979).Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    H. Brockerhoff, R.J. Hoyle, and P.C. Huang, Positional distribution of fatty acids in fats of a polar bear and a seal, Can. J. Biochem. 44: 1519 (1966).Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    H. Brockeroff, R.J. Hoyle, On the structure of the depot fats of marine fish and mammals. Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 102: 452 (1963).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    R.G. Ackman, Some possible effects on lipid biochemistry of differences in the distribution on glycerol of long-chain n-3 fatty acids in the fats of marine fish and marine mammals, Atherosclerosis 70: 171–173 (1988).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    R.M. Dougherty, C. Galli, A. Ferro-Luzzi, and J.M. Iacono, Lipid and phospholipid fatty acid composition of plasma, red blood cells, and platelets and how they are affected by dietary lipids: a study of normal subjects from Italy, Finland, and the USA, Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 45: 443–455, (1987).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    J.W. Farquhar and E.H. Ahrens, Effects of dietary fats on human erythrocyte fatty acid patterns, J. Clin. Invest. 42: 675–685 (1963).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    I.J. Cartwright, A.G. Pockley, J.H. Galloway, M. Greaves, and F.E. Preston, The effects of dietary w-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on erythrocyte membrane phospholipids, erythrocyte deformability and blood viscosity in healthy volunteers. Atherosclerosis 55: 267281 (1985).Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    C. Popp-Snijders, J.A. Schouten, J. van der Veen, and E.A. van der Veen, Fatty fish-induced changes in membrane lipid composition and viscosity of human erythrocyte suspensions. Scand. J. Clin. Lab. Invest. 46: 253–258 (1986).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    C. Popp-Snijders, J.A. Schouten, W.J. van Blitterswijk, and E.A. van der Veen, Changes in membrane lipid composition of human erythrocytes after dietary supplementation of (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids. Maintenance of membrane fluidity, Biochim. Biophys. Acta 854: 31–37 (1986).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    S.M. Innis and H.V. Kuhnlein, Long chain n-3 fatty acids in breast milk of Inuit women consuming traditional foods, Early Human Develop. In press (1988).Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    H.M. Sinclair, The diet of Canadian Indians and Eskimos, Br. J. Nutr. 12: 69–82 (1952).Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    A.M. Banfield, The Mammals of Canada, Univ. Toronto Press., (1981).Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    C. Bates, C. van Dam., H.F. Horrobin, N. Morse, Y-S. Huang, M.S. Manku, Plasma essential fatty acids in pure and mixed race American Indians on and off a diet exceptionally rich in salmon, Prostaglan. Leukotr. & Med. 17: 77–84 (1985).Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    D.F. Horrobin, Low prevalences of coronary heart disease (CHD) psoriasis, asthma and rheumatoid arthritis in Eskimos: are they caused by high dietary intake of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), a genetic variation of essential fatty acid (EFA) metabolism or a combination of both? Med. Hypoth. 22: 421–428 (1987).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    W.S. Harris, W.E. Connor, S. Lindsey, Will dietary w-3 fatty acid change the composition of human milk. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 40: 780–785 (1984).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    M.T. Clandinin, J.E. Chappell, T. Heim, Do low birth weight infants require nutrition with chain elongationdesaturation products of essential fatty acids? In: “Essential faty acids and prostaglandins”, R.T. Holman, ed., pp. 901–904, Publ. Pergamon Press, N.Y. (1982).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sheila M. Innis
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Paediatrics Faculty of MedicineUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

Personalised recommendations