This is the full article for the corresponding NEWS headline.
New Paper on Arachidonic Acid Supplementation
A paper on the supplementation of arachidonic acid (AA) was recently published in the British Journal of Nutrition (British Journal of Nutrition (2007), 98, 451?453). This article is of interest to the athletic community supplementing arachidonic acid for a number of reasons, most notably its focus on safety, its close examination of the buildup and depletion of arachidonic acid in the body, and its use of AA combined with a high intake of Omega-3 fatty acids. Key to this review was a study published in the same journal in April of 2007 by Kusumoto et al. (Br J Nutr. 2007 Sep;98(3):626-35. Epub 2007 Apr 20), which involved the supplementation of arachidonic acid (840mg/d) in a group of 24 healthy Japanese men that consumed high amounts of fish in their diet. This is the first paper of its kind, as most previous investigations of arachidonic acid supplementation safety involved Westerners with low daily intakes of Omega-3 fatty acids. Habitual daily intakes of DHA and EPA in this study ranged from 42 to 691mg and 98 to 991mg, respectively. The average intakes were about 310mg and 550 mg per day. Among the findings were the following.
2-Week Buildup Window:
It took 2 weeks for maximum arachidonic acid levels to be achieved in serum phospholipids. This was the first study to closely examine the time it took to reach peak levels with AA supplementations, and reinforces anecdotal observations of a 2-3 week ?loading? window before significant results are noted with supplementation in bodybuilders/athletes.
Arachidonic acid levels remained elevated for a few weeks after supplementation was discontinued. They reached their pretreated levels after 4 weeks. This may also explain why some continue to notice progress in the immediate weeks following AA discontinuation.
Omega-3?s Had No Effect:
Peak arachidonic acid levels were similar in this study to other studies where AA was given to subjects with low dietary levels of Omega-3 fatty acids. At these levels there did not appear to be any significant Omega-3 antagonism of arachidonic acid. This study reinforces the anecdotal observations that low doses of fish oil or regular fish consumption do not appear to appreciably diminish the results of arachidonic acid supplementation.
Arachidonic Acid Supplementation is Safe:
This paper one again takes a review of the safety of arachidonic acid supplementation, with interest in its effects on many areas of health including inflammation, immune functioning, lipids, blood pressure, platelet aggregation, glucose concentrations, liver function, and bleeding time, and notes that arachidonic acid supplementation appears to be perfectly safe in healthy subjects. When noting the inclusion of the most recent AA study (Kusumoto), the British Journal of Nutrition review states:
?Taken together with earlier studies, this study suggests that, rather than being harmful, moderately increased arachidonic acid intake is probably harmless in healthy adults, although the effect of intakes above 1.5g/d are not known and the effect of increased intake in diseased individuals is not known.?
Thread: New Arachidonic Acid Study/Info