Effects of dietary omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on the skeletal-muscle blood-flow response to exercise in rats

Charles L Stebbins, Lauren E. Hammel, Benjamin J. Marshal, Espen E. Spangenberg, Timothy I. Musch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

The polyunsaturated fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) affect vascular relaxation and involve factors (e.g., nitric oxide) that contribute to exercise-induced increases in skeletal-muscle blood flow (Q). The authors investigated whether DHA and EPA supplementation augments skeletal-muscle Q and vascular conductance (VC) and attenuates renal and splanchnic Q and VC in exercising rats. Rats were fed a diet of 5% lipids by weight, of which 20% was DHA and 30% EPA (PUFA group, n = 9), or 5% safflower oil (SO group, n = 8) for 6 wk. Heart rate (HR), blood pressure (MAP), and hind-limb, renal, and splanchnic Q were measured at rest and during moderate treadmill running. MAP, HR, and renal and splanchnic Q and VC were similar between the 2 groups at rest and during exercise. In the PUFA group, Q (158 ± 27 vs. 128 ± 28 ml·min -1·100 g-1) and VC (1.16 ± 0.21 vs. 0.92 ± 0.23 ml·min-1·100 g-1·mm Hg-1) were greater in the exercising hind-limb muscle. Q and VC were also higher in 8 of 28 and 11 of 28 muscles and muscle parts, respectively. These increases were positively correlated to the percent sum of Types I and IIa fibers. Results suggest that DHA+EPA (a) enhances Q and VC in active skeletal muscle (especially Type I and IIa fibers) and that the increase in Q is due to an increase in cardiac output secondary to increases in VC and (b) has no apparent influence on vasoconstriction in renal and splanchnic tissue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)475-486
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism
Volume20
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2010

Keywords

  • Blood pressure
  • Docosahexaenoic acid
  • Eicosapentaenoic acid
  • Heart rate
  • Treadmill exercise
  • Vascular conductance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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