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Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism
Volume 2012, Article ID 395757, 9 pages
Research Article

High Physiological Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation Affects Muscle Fatty Acid Composition and Glucose and Insulin Homeostasis in Obese Adolescents

1Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Clinical Physiology, Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, 416 85 Gothenburg, Sweden
2Department of Paediatrics, Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, 416 85 Gothenburg, Sweden
3Unit of Public Health Nutrition, Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Novum at Karolinska Institute, 141 86 Stockholm, Sweden

Received 21 June 2011; Revised 29 September 2011; Accepted 20 November 2011

Academic Editor: Elizabeth H. Jeffery

Copyright © 2012 Frida Dangardt et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Obese adolescents have high concentrations of saturated fatty acids and low omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCUFAs) in plasma phospholipids. We aimed to investigate effects of omega-3 LCPUFA supplementation to obese adolescents on skeletal muscle lipids and glucose and insulin homeostasis. Twenty-five obese adolescents (14–17 years old, 14 females) completed a randomized double-blind crossover study supplying capsules containing either 1.2 g omega-3 LCPUFAs or placebo, for 3 months each with a six-week washout period. Fasting blood glucose, insulin, leptin, adiponectin, and lipids were measured. Intravenous glucose tolerance test (IVGTT) and euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamp were performed, and skeletal muscle biopsies were obtained at the end of each period. The concentrations of EPA, DHA, and total omega-3 PUFA in muscle phospholipids increased in both sexes. In the females, omega-3 LCPUFA supplementation improved glucose tolerance by 39% ( 𝑃 = 0 . 0 4 ) and restored insulin concentration by 34% ( 𝑃 = 0 . 0 2 ) during IVGTT. Insulin sensitivity improved 17% ( 𝑃 = 0 . 0 7 ). In males, none of these parameters was influenced by omega-3 supplementation. Thus, three months of supplementation of omega-3 LCPUFA improved glucose and insulin homeostasis in obese girls without influencing body weight.