TTA a can save your liver, but it will exasperate the shift of n-3 into your heart
|Image 2 (Knuuti. 2008): a globally, well-perfused and (top) a compromised heart with a maximum perfusion of 1.3 ml/g/min (bottom)|
- control diet - 23% lard, 2% soybean oil
- TTA - 0.375% TTA, 22.6% lard, 2%
- fish oil - 10.4% fish oil (42
% EPA / 21% DHA), 12.6% lard
- TTA & FO - 0.375% TTA, 10.4% FO, 12.2% lard, 2% soy
N-3 accumulation in the heart? Wait that's a good thing, right? NO!
For the laymen who has been bamboozled by the fish oil craze this may initially sound counterintuitive, but the profound accumulation of omega-3 fatty acids in the myocardium (heart) of the rodents (see figure 1) is about as bad as it can get for the critters heart health.
|Figure 1: PUFA composition (wt%) in heart of rats after 50 weeks of diet administration (Strand. 2012)|
Keep away from your obese neighbors' supplement stash, damn it!
Independent analyses such as a 2009 paper by Dijkstra et al. do not support the commonly held conviction that fish oil or a higher intake of omega-3 fatty acids was beneficial for the general non-diabetic public anyway (Dijkstra. 2009). And it does not take all too long to find numerous reports of in parts serious side effects from the consumption of high-dosed TTA-based fat-burners in the archives of popular fitness and bodydbuilding boards, before the respective supplement producers got scared and pulled them voluntarily and under the pre-text that they had found more effective formulations off the market.
|Figure 2: Enzyme activity (nmol/min/mg) in heart of rats after 50 weeks of diet administration (based on Strand. 2012)|
Reduced cardiac efficacy = reduced muscular efficacy
It's quite funny that we could actually have known that all along, after all, one of my favorite "holy omega-3 vs. bad omega-6" studies by K.J. Ayre and A.J. Hulbert was published in 1997 already. Ayre and Hulbert wanted to elucidate the effects of different dietary fatty acid compositions on the exercise capacity of rodents and found (way before the fish oil craze and therefore not so much to their surprise) that compared to a coconut (EFA deficient) or sesame oil (high omega-6) the n-3 enriched test diet led to a profound decrease in exercise capacity (see figure 3)
|Figure 3: Endurance and total work capacity (left) and soleus and EDL fatty acid composition (right) of rats after 9 weeks on diets containing almost no essential fatty acids , a high n-6 or a high n-3 content (Ayre. 2012)|
In view of the fact that TTA appears to increase the existing fatty acid recompositioning effects of an overload of dietary omega-3 fatty acids in the diet, and against the background that the observed negative side effects came about in no more than 9 weeks and were not reversed after 6 weeks on standard chow, it appears more than questionable if the few lbs of body fat you may be able to shed with the aforementioned TTA+fish oil double whammy over say 4-8 weeks are actually worth taking the risk of permanent or at least only slowly reversible changes in the intracellular fatty acid composition of your heart and skeletal muscle.
"And what about fish oil supplementation alone?"
Aside from the fact that the usefulness of fish oil caps in healthy individuals is questionable (Dijkstra. 2009) and anything beyond 1-2g of fish oil per day could well lead to increased not decreased oxidative damage in athletes and physical culturists (cf. "Omega-3 Fatty Acids Pro-Inflammatory in Athletes"; Filaire. 2010), you don't necessarily have to throw away your fish oil. After all, I would hope that no one here is getting 50% of his/her daily fat intake from fish oil caps - which was basically what Strand et al. fed their rodents to make sure that the shift in myocardial fatty acid levels would be profound enough. Still the Ayre study, where the n-3 content of the diets was much lower (16% of total fat intake, ~8.8g of fish oil if you consumed 2,000kcal/day), does indicate that the intramuscular changes in fatty acid composition can be profound and not without detrimental consequences even without the addition of TTA and in response to amounts of omega 3 fats of which we all know that thousand of supplement junkies still believe would be nothing but beneficial for their health.
- Ayre KJ, Hulbert AJ. Dietary fatty acid profile affects endurance in rats. Lipids. 1997 Dec;32(12):1265-70.
- Dijkstra SC, Brouwer IA, van Rooij FJ, Hofman A, Witteman JC, Geleijnse JM. Intake of very long chain n-3 fatty acids from fish and the incidence of heart failure: the Rotterdam Study. Eur J Heart Fail. 2009 Oct;11(10):922-8.
- Filaire E, Massart A, Portier H, Rouveix M, Rosado F, Bage AS, Gobert M, Durand D. Effect of 6 Weeks of n-3 fatty-acid supplementation on oxidative stress in Judo athletes. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2010 Dec;20(6):496-506.
- Khalid AM, Hafstad AD, Larsen TS, Severson DL, Boardman N, Hagve M, Berge RK, Aasum E. Cardioprotective effect of the PPAR ligand tetradecylthioacetic acid in type 2 diabetic mice. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2011 Jun;300(6):H2116-22. Epub 2011 Mar 18.
- Knuuti J, Bengel FM. Technology and guidelines: Positron emission tomography and molecular imaging. Heart 2008;94:3 360-367
- Nodari S, Triggiani M, Campia U, Manerba A, Milesi G, Cesana BM, Gheorghiade M: Dei Cas L: Effects of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on left ventricular function and functional capacity in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy. J Am Coll Cardiol 2011, 57:870–879.
- Strand E, Bjørndal B, Nygård O, Burri L, Berge C, Bohov P, Christensen BJ, Berge K, Wergedahl H, Viste A, Berge RK. Long-term treatment with the pan-PPAR agonist tetradecylthioacetic acid or fish oil is associated with increased cardiac content of n-3 fatty acids in rat. Lipids Health Dis. 2012 Jun 27;11(1):82.
- Vigerust NF, Cacabelos D, Burri L, Berge K, Wergedahl H, Christensen B, Portero-Otin M, Viste A, Pamplona R, Berge RK, Bjørndal B. Fish oil and 3-thia fatty acid have additive effects on lipid metabolism but antagonistic effects on oxidative damage when fed to rats for 50 weeks. J Nutr Biochem. 2012 Jan 3.