AbstractBackground

Few studies have evaluated the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation against fine particulate matter (aerodynamic diameter <2.5 μm [PM2.5]) exposure in highly polluted areas.

Objectives

The authors sought to evaluate whether dietary fish-oil supplementation protects cardiovascular health against PM2.5 exposure in China.

Methods

This is a randomized, double-blinded, and placebo-controlled trial among 65 healthy college students in Shanghai, China. Participants were randomly assigned to either the placebo group or the intervention group with dietary fish-oil supplementation of 2.5 g/day from September 2017 to January 2018, and received 4 rounds of health examinations in the last 2 months of treatments. Fixed-site PM2.5 concentrations on campus were measured in real time. The authors measured blood pressure and 18 biomarkers of systematic inflammation, coagulation, endothelial function, oxidative stress, antioxidant activity, cardiometabolism, and neuroendocrine stress response. Acute effects of PM2.5 on these outcomes were evaluated within each group using linear mixed-effect models.

Results

The average PM2.5 level was 38 μg/m3 during the study period. Compared with the placebo group, the fish-oil group showed relatively stable levels of most biomarkers in response to changes in PM2.5 exposure. Between-group differences associated with PM2.5 exposure varied by biomarkers and by lags of exposure. The authors observed beneficial effects of fish-oil supplementation on 5 biomarkers of blood inflammation, coagulation, endothelial function, oxidative stress, and neuroendocrine stress response in the fish-oil group at a false discovery rate of <0.05.

Conclusions

This trial shows that omega-3 fatty acid supplementation is associated with short-term subclinical cardiovascular benefits against PM2.5 exposure among healthy young adults in China. (Effect of Dietary Supplemental Fish Oil in Alleviating Health Hazards Associated With Air Pollution; NCT03255187)

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