Lipidomics Profiling of Human Adipose Tissue Identifies a Pattern of Lipids Associated with Fish Oil Supplementation

Elizabeth G Stanley, Benjamin J Jenkins, Celia G Walker, Albert Koulman, Lucy Browning, Annette L West, Philip C Calder, Susan A Jebb, Julian L Griffin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


To understand the interaction between diet and health, biomarkers that accurately reflect consumption of foods of perceived health relevance are needed. The aim of this investigation was to use direct infusion-mass spectrometry (DI-MS) lipidomics to determine the effects of fish oil supplementation on lipid profiles of human adipose tissue. Adipose tissue samples from an n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) supplementation study (n = 66) were analyzed to compare the pattern following supplementation equivalent to zero or four portions of oily fish per week. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) were incorporated into highly unsaturated (≥5 double bonds) triglycerides (TGs), phosphocholines, and phosphoethanolamines as well as being detected directly as the nonesterified fatty acid forms. Multivariate statistics demonstrated that phospholipids were the most accurate and sensitive lipids for the assessing EPA and DHA incorporation into adipose tissue. Potential confounding factors (adiposity, age, and sex of the subject) were also considered in the analysis, and adiposity was also associated with an increase in highly unsaturated TGs as a result of incorporation of the n-6 PUFA arachidonic acid. DI-MS provides a high-throughput analysis of fatty acid status that can monitor oily fish consumption, suitable for use in cohort studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3168-3179
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Proteome Research
Issue number9
Early online date6 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2017

Bibliographical note

We thank the Medical Research Council, U.K. (MC_UP_A90_1006), BBSRC (BB/H013539/2; bb/I000933/I), and the British Heart Foundation for their support. The original trial was funded by the U.K. Foods Standards Agency (N05065/66). Equazen (Wallingford, Oxford, U.K.) supplied the capsules for the intervention. The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect U.K. Government policy or advice.


  • Adipose Tissue/chemistry
  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Body Weight
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids/metabolism
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid/metabolism
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified/metabolism
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-6/metabolism
  • Female
  • Fish Oils/administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Lipid Metabolism/drug effects
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phospholipids/metabolism
  • Principal Component Analysis
  • Triglycerides/metabolism


Dive into the research topics of 'Lipidomics Profiling of Human Adipose Tissue Identifies a Pattern of Lipids Associated with Fish Oil Supplementation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this