Consumption of Stearidonic Acid−Rich Oil in Foods Increases Red Blood Cell Eicosapentaenoic Acid



      Consumption of soybean oil enriched with stearidonic acid was previously shown to increase eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) in red blood cells (RBC).


      This study was designed to evaluate the effect of stearidonic acid oil used as a food ingredient in baked products and beverages on the RBC fatty acid profile.


      This was a randomized, double-blind, controlled, parallel-arm study.


      Healthy men and women 21 to 65 years of age were included.


      Participants consumed either negative control (1.5 g/day high-oleic sunflower ethyl ester oil softgel capsules+foods containing 7 g/day high-oleic sunflower oil), positive control (1.5 g/day EPA oil ethyl ester softgel capsules+foods containing 7 g/day high-oleic sunflower oil), or active (1.5 g/day high-oleic sunflower ethyl ester oil softgel capsules+foods containing 7 g/day stearidonic acid soybean oil) for 12 weeks.

      Main outcome measures

      RBC membrane fatty acid profile (at weeks 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12); fasting serum lipids (weeks −2, 0, 6, 10, and 12); and fasting plasma glucose and insulin (weeks −2, 0, 10, and 12) were assessed.

      Statistical analyses performed

      A repeated measures analysis of covariance was used for continuous variables, and pair-wise comparisons between treatments were adjusted using a step-down Bonferroni method. Fisher’s exact or χ2 tests were used for categorical data.


      RBC %EPA throughout the 12-week study were significantly different between all groups. Means at 12 weeks were 0.50%±0.03%, 2.17%±0.21%, and 0.85%±0.05% for control, EPA, and stearidonic acid, respectively. Other efficacy outcome measures were not significantly different among treatment groups.


      Consumption of stearidonic acid-enriched soybean oil incorporated into common foods increased RBC %EPA in healthy men and women. Stearidonic acid soybean oil, a sustainable and accessible source of long-chain n-3, can effectively be used to increase EPA in RBC.


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      S. Lemke is lead, Toxicology, Monsanto Company, St Louis, MO.


      M. L. Taylor is a senior research associate, Monsanto Company, St Louis, MO.


      D. A. Goldstein is an associate medical director, Monsanto Company, St Louis, MO.


      K. C. Maki is chief science officer, Biofortis Clinical Research, Addison, IL.


      T. M. Rains is director of medical writing and principal scientist, Biofortis Clinical Research, Addison, IL.


      G. Hughes is a research scientist, Global Nutrition, Solae, LLC, St Louis, MO.


      E. S. Krul is a science fellow and lead, Nutrition Discovery, Global Nutrition, Solae, LLC, St Louis, MO.


      R. Mukherjea is a senior group leader, Global Nutrition, Solae, LLC, St Louis, MO.


      H. Su is a senior statistician, PPD, Morrisville, NC; at the time of the study, she was a senior statistician, Monsanto, Company, St Louis, MO.