Honours Project Title: Can we improve people’s omega-3 status without them eating more fish?
Supervisor(s)Dr Beverly Muhlhausler, Prof Robert Gibson, Dr Evangeline Mantzioris (UniSA)
Brief Project OutlineThe importance of diet for the prevention and management of cardiovascular disease is well recognized. Health agencies across the world recommend lowering the intake of saturated fat intake by replacing animal fats with polyunsaturated vegetable oils, and increasing the intake of fish and fish-oils (which contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids) in order to improve heart health.
Whilst this approach is effective in individuals, many Australian’s find it hard to eat enough fish, and, even if they did, there aren’t actually enough fish left in the world’s oceans to supply these needs for too much longer.
Luckily, omega-3 fatty acids are also found in other foods, and the amount of omega-3 fatty acids that most Australians already eat is likely to be enough to protect against cardiovascular disease if it wasn’t for the high level of omega-6 fats in typical Australian diets. This is because omega-6 fats compete with omega-3 fatty acids for incorporation into tissues, which is necessary for them to have biological effects.
This project aims to show that reducing the intake of omega-6 fats will result in increased omega-3 incorporation into tissues and protection against cardiovascular disease without the need to increase fish or fish-oil intake.
In summary, this project will ideally suit an enthusiastic student who is interested in learning more about.
Nutrition, omega-3 fatty acids, human nutritional physiology
- Recruiting human subjects
- Interviewing human subjects
- Calculating dietary composition
- Analysis of fatty acid composition of plasma and red blood cells by Gas Chromatography
- Breslow JL. n-3 Fatty acids and cardiovascular disease. Am J Clin Nutr 2006;83:S1477-1482.
- Cleland L, James M, Neumann M, D'Angelo M, Gibson R. Linoleate inhibits EPA incorporation from dietary fish-oil supplements in human subjects. Am J Clin Nutr 1992;55:395-399.
- Australian Government Dept of Health and Ageing. Nutirient reference values for Australia and New Zealand.
Scholarship Available: Yes *
* Scholarships are competitive and are awarded principally on academic merit.
Want to know more? Then email Beverly Muhlhausler with the subject heading "Honours Project", so that we can have a chat about the project in more detail.