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Effects of weight loss and seafood consumption on inflammation parameters in young, overweight and obese European men and women during 8 weeks of energy restriction



In vitro studies have shown that long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC n-3 PUFAs) can affect inflammation; however, results from intervention studies in overweight or obese individuals are contradicting. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of weight loss and seafood consumption on inflammation parameters during energy restriction.


In this 8-week intervention trial, 324 subjects (aged 20–40 years, body mass index 27.5–32.5 kg/m2 from Iceland, Spain and Ireland) were randomized to one of four energy-restricted diets (−30% relative to estimated requirements): salmon (3 × 150 g/week, 2.1 g LC n-3 PUFA per day); cod (3 × 150 g/week, 0.3 g LC n-3 PUFA per day); fish oil capsules (1.3 g LC n-3 PUFA per day); and control (sunflower oil capsules, no seafood). Body weight, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6), glutathione reductase and prostaglandin F2 alpha (PGEF2α) were measured at baseline and end point.


Subjects experienced weight loss (−5.2±3.2 kg, P<0.001). Taken together for all subjects, there were significant decreases in all inflammation parameters. On a group level, salmon consumption was most effective, three of the four inflammation parameters decreased in the salmon group (high-sensitivity CRP=−32.0%; IL-6=−18.4%; PGEF2α=−18.5%; all P<0.05). Cod consumption decreased high-sensitivity CRP and IL-6 (−21.5 and −10.8%, respectively, both P<0.05). Changes in the other two groups were not significant, which can be partly explained by the large s.d.


The mean concentrations of inflammation parameters decreased during a period of weight loss and dietary intervention. In our study, salmon consumption was most effective, three of the four measured inflammation parameters decreased significantly in the salmon group.

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The YOUNG study is part of the SEAFOODplus Integrated Project, which is funded by the European Commission through the Sixth Framework Program Contract with Ref. FOOD-CT-2004-506359. Thus, thanks are due to the EU Commission for financial support as well as to the volunteers participating in the study. There were no financial or personal interests in any company or organization sponsoring the research, currently or at the time the research was carried out. The trial is registered at the US National Library of Medicine (No. NCT00315770).

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Correspondence to A Ramel.

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Ramel, A., Martinez, J., Kiely, M. et al. Effects of weight loss and seafood consumption on inflammation parameters in young, overweight and obese European men and women during 8 weeks of energy restriction. Eur J Clin Nutr 64, 987–993 (2010).

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  • seafood
  • fish
  • LC n-3 PUFA
  • weight loss
  • inflammation
  • young adults

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