The effect of dietary docosahexaenoic acid on platelet function, platelet fatty acid composition, and blood coagulation in humans.Lipids. 1997 Nov; 32(11):1129-36.L
The effect of dietary docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in the absence of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) has been studied infrequently in humans under controlled conditions. This 120-d study followed healthy, adult male volunteers who lived in the metabolic research unit (MRU) of the Western Human Nutrition Research Center for the entire study. The basal (low-DHA) diet consisted of natural foods (30 en% fat, 15 en% protein, and 55 en% carbohydrate), containing < 50 mg/d of DHA, and met the recommended daily intake for all essential nutrients. The high-DHA (intervention) diet was similar except that 6 g/d of DHA in the form of a triglyceride containing 40% DHA replaced an equal amount of safflower oil in the basal diet. The subjects (ages 20 to 39) were within -10 to +20% of ideal body weight, nonsmoking, and not allowed alcohol in the MRU. Their exercise level was constant, and their body weights were maintained within 2% of entry level. They were initially fed the low-DHA diet for 30 d. On day 31, six subjects (intervention, group A) were placed on the high-DHA diet; the other four subjects (controls, group B) remained on the low-DHA diet. Platelet aggregation in platelet-rich plasma was determined using ADP, collagen, and arachidonic acid. No statistical differences could be detected between the amount of agonist required to produce 50% aggregation of platelet-rich plasma before and after the subjects consumed the high-DHA diet. The prothrombin time, activated partial thromboplastin time, and the antithrombin-III levels in the subjects were determined, and, again, there were no statistically significant differences in these three parameters when their values were compared before and after the subjects consumed the high-DHA diet. In addition, the in vivo bleeding times did not show any significant difference before and after the subjects consumed the high-DHA diet (9.4 +/- 3.1 min before and 8.0 +/- 3.4 min after). Platelets from the volunteers exhibited more than a threefold increase in their DHA content from 1.54 +/- 0.16 to 5.48 +/- 1.21 (wt%) during the DHA feeding period. The EPA content of the subjects' platelets increased from 0.34 +/- 0.12 to 2.67 +/- 0.91 (wt%) during the high-DHA diet despite the absence of EPA in the subjects' diets. The results from this study on blood clotting parameters and in vitro platelet aggregation suggest that adding 6 g/d of dietary DHA for 90 d to a typical Western diet containing less than 50 mg/d of DHA produces no observable physiological changes in blood coagulation, platelet function, or thrombotic tendencies in healthy, adult males.