A multi-site, non-randomized design, utilizing two American football teams was employed. One team (n = 3 1) received supplementation with a highly bioavailablew-3 FA formulation (2000mg DHA, 560mg EPA) during pre-season and throughout the regular season, while the second team served as the control (n = 35) and did not undergo supplementation. Compared to the control group, American football athletes in the treatment group experienced large increases in plasma EPA (p < .001, d = 1.71) and DHA (p < .001, d = 2.10) which contributed to increases in the O3I (p < .001, d = 2.16) and the EPA:AA ratio (p = .001, d = 0.83) and a reduction in the w-6: w-3 ratio (p < .001, d = 1.80). w-3 FA supplementation attenuated elevations in Nf-L (p = .024). The control group experienced a significant increase in Nf-L compared to baseline at several measurement time points (T2, T3, and T4 [p range < .001 – .005, drange = 0.59-0.85]).
These findings suggest a cardio- and neuroprotective effect of combined EPA+DPA+DHA w-3 FA supplementation in American-style football athletes.
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