Fingertip whole blood as an indicator of omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid changes during dose-response supplementation in women: Comparison with plasma and erythrocyte fatty acids

Barbara J. Meyer, Cassandra Sparkes, Andrew J. Sinclair, Robert A. Gibson, Paul L. Else

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The sensitivity of fingertip whole blood to reflect habitual dietary and dose-dependent supplemental omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3 LCPUFA) intake in premenopausal women was compared to that of venous erythrocytes and plasma fatty acids. Samples were obtained from women in a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in which premenopausal women (n = 53) were supplemented with DHA-rich tuna oil capsules and/or placebo (Sunola oil) capsules (6 capsules per day) for 8 weeks to achieve doses of either 0, 0.35, 0.7 or 1.05 g/day n-3 LCPUFA. All blood biomarkers were very similar in their ability to reflect dietary n-3 LCPUFA intake (r = 0.38–0.46 for EPA and DHA intake), and in their dose-dependent increases in n-3 LCPUFA levels after supplementation (R2 = 0.41–0.51 for dose effect on biomarker EPA and DHA levels (mol %)). Fingertip whole blood is an effective alternative to erythrocytes and plasma as a biomarker n-3 LCPUFA intake in premenopausal women.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1419
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished or Issued - May 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Dose response
  • Erythrocyte
  • Omega-3
  • Plasma
  • Whole blood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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