Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Access
  • Cited by 14
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Hanson, Jennifer A. Lin, Yu-Hong Dretsch, Michael N. Strandjord, Sarah E. Haub, Mark D. and Hibbeln, Joseph R. 2016. Whole food, functional food, and supplement sources of omega-3 fatty acids and omega-3 HUFA scores among U.S. soldiers. Journal of Functional Foods, Vol. 23, p. 167.

    Liu, Meng-Jiao Li, Hong-Tian Yu, Li-Xia Xu, Gao-Sheng Ge, Hua Wang, Lin-Lin Zhang, Ya-Li Zhou, Yu-Bo Li, You Bai, Man-Xi and Liu, Jian-Meng 2016. A Correlation Study of DHA Dietary Intake and Plasma, Erythrocyte and Breast Milk DHA Concentrations in Lactating Women from Coastland, Lakeland, and Inland Areas of China. Nutrients, Vol. 8, Issue. 5, p. 312.

    Stark, Ken D. Van Elswyk, Mary E. Higgins, M. Roberta Weatherford, Charli A. and Salem, Norman 2016. Global survey of the omega-3 fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid in the blood stream of healthy adults. Progress in Lipid Research, Vol. 63, p. 132.

    Dickinson, Kacie M. Delaney, Christopher L. Allan, Richard Spark, Ian and Miller, Michelle D. 2015. Validation of a Brief Dietary Assessment Tool for Estimating Dietary EPA and DHA Intake in Australian Adults at Risk of Cardiovascular Disease. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, Vol. 34, Issue. 4, p. 333.

    Gribble, Matthew O. Cheng, Alan Berger, Ronald D. Rosman, Lori and Guallar, Eliseo 2015. Mercury Exposure and Heart Rate Variability: a Systematic Review. Current Environmental Health Reports, Vol. 2, Issue. 3, p. 304.

    Burger, Joanna Gochfeld, Michael Batang, Zenon Alikunhi, Nabeel Al-Jahdali, Ramzi Al-Jebreen, Dalal Aziz, Mohammed A.M. and Al-Suwailem, Abdulaziz 2014. Fish consumption behavior and rates in native and non-native people in Saudi Arabia. Environmental Research, Vol. 133, p. 141.

    Joffre, Corinne and Viau, Sabrina 2014. Handbook of Nutrition, Diet and the Eye.

    Nagasaka, Reiko Gagnon, Claude Swist, Eleonora Rondeau, Isabelle Massarelli, Isabelle Cheung, Winnie and Ratnayake, Walisundera M. N. 2014. EPA and DHA Status of South Asian and White Canadians Living in the National Capital Region of Canada. Lipids, Vol. 49, Issue. 10, p. 1057.

    Stankus, Tony 2013. Reviews of Science for Science Librarians: Eating Small Pelagic Fish vs. Using Them to Produce Fishmeal and Fish Oil for Aquaculture and Livestock Feed: A Controversy of Interest to Librarians Serving the Marine and Food Sciences. Science & Technology Libraries, Vol. 32, Issue. 1, p. 45.

    Ellsworth-Bowers, E. R. and Corwin, E. J. 2012. Nutrition and the psychoneuroimmunology of postpartum depression. Nutrition Research Reviews, Vol. 25, Issue. 01, p. 180.

    Patterson, Ashley C. Hogg, Ryan C. Kishi, Diane M. and Stark, Ken D. 2012. Biomarker and Dietary Validation of a Canadian Food Frequency Questionnaire to Measure Eicosapentaenoic and Docosahexaenoic Acid Intakes from Whole Food, Functional Food, and Nutraceutical Sources. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Vol. 112, Issue. 7, p. 1005.

    Tsuji, Mayumi Ando, Tetsuo Kitano, Takao Wakamiya, Junji Koriyama, Chihaya and Akiba, Suminori 2012. Relationship between RBC Mercury Levels and Serum n3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Concentrations among Japanese Men and Women. Journal of Environmental and Public Health, Vol. 2012, p. 1.

    Xun, P. Hou, N. Daviglus, M. Liu, K. Morris, J. S. Shikany, J. M. Sidney, S. Jacobs, D. R. and He, K. 2011. Fish oil, selenium and mercury in relation to incidence of hypertension: a 20-year follow-up study. Journal of Internal Medicine, Vol. 270, Issue. 2, p. 175.

    Miller, Michelle D Yaxley, Alison Villani, Anthony Cobiac, Lynne Fraser, Robert Cleland, Leslie James, Michael and Crotty, Maria 2010. A trial assessing N-3 as treatment for injury-induced cachexia (ATLANTIC trial): does a moderate dose fish oil intervention improve outcomes in older adults recovering from hip fracture?. BMC Geriatrics, Vol. 10, Issue. 1,


Validation of an FFQ for evaluation of EPA and DHA intake

  • Michel Lucas (a1), Geneviève Asselin (a1), Chantal Mérette (a2), Marie-Josée Poulin (a2) and Sylvie Dodin (a1) (a3)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 October 2009

To validate an FFQ for the assessment of dietary EPA and DHA against their relative concentrations in red blood cells (RBC).


Cross-sectional analysis of baseline data. Intakes of marine food products and EPA and DHA were estimated by FFQ on the basis of consumption of marine food products in the last month. Fatty acid composition of RBC membranes was quantified by GC.


Saint-François d’Assise Hospital, Québec, Canada.


A total of sixty-five middle-aged women who participated in a randomized clinical trial.


Spearman’s correlation coefficient between intake of EPA, DHA and EPA + DHA and their corresponding concentration in RBC was 0·46, 0·40 and 0·42, respectively (all P < 0·05). Multiple regression analysis of EPA+DHA intake and RBC EPA + DHA concentration indicated positive and significant correlations for oily fish (β = 0·44, 95 % CI 0·16, 0·72, P = 0·0027), total fish (β = 0·42, 95 % CI 0·19, 0·64, P = 0·0005) and marine food products (β = 0·42, 95 % CI 0·20, 0·64, P = 0·0003). No other marine food products significantly predicted RBC EPA + DHA concentration.


Although the present validation study was undertaken among middle-aged women with low consumption of marine food products (<3 servings/week), our FFQ provided estimates of EPA and DHA intakes that correlated fairly well with their RBC concentrations. However, the absence of correlations between EPA + DHA intakes from different marine species suggests that a minimum EPA + DHA intake is necessary to observe a relationship with RBC EPA + DHA concentrations.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Validation of an FFQ for evaluation of EPA and DHA intake
      Available formats
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Validation of an FFQ for evaluation of EPA and DHA intake
      Available formats
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Validation of an FFQ for evaluation of EPA and DHA intake
      Available formats
Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Email
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

1.PM Kris-Etherton , WS Harris & LJ Appel (2002) AHA Scientific Statement. Fish consumption, fish oil, omega-3 fatty acids, and cardiovascular disease. Circulation 106, 27472757.

2.MP Freeman , JR Hibbeln , KL Wisner (2006) Omega-3 fatty acids: evidence basis for treatment and future research in psychiatry. J Clin Psychiatry 67, 19541967.

4.D Mozaffarian & EB Rimm (2006) Fish intake, contaminants, and human health: evaluating the risks and the benefits. JAMA 296, 18851899.

6.CJ Bates & DI Thurnham (1997) Biochemical markers of nutrient intake. In Design Concepts in Nutritional Epidemiology, 2nd ed., pp. 170240 [BM Margetts and M Nelson, editors]. New York: Oxford University Press.

7.WC Willett (editor) (1998) Nutritional Epidemiology, 2nd ed., p. 414. New York: Oxford University Press.

9.JR Hebert , Y Ma , L Clemow , IS Ockene , G Saperia , EJ Stanek 3rd, PA Mérriam & JK Ockene (1997) Gender differences in social desirability and social approval bias in dietary self-report. Am J Epidemiol 146, 10461055.

11.M Plourde & S Cunnane (2007) Extremely limited synthesis of long chain polyunsaturates in adults: implications for their dietary essentiality and use as supplements. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab 32, 619634.

13.M Kobayashi , S Sasaki , T Kawabata , K Hasegawa & S Tsugane (2003) Validity of a self-administered food frequency questionnaire used in the 5-year follow-up survey of the JPHC Study Cohort I to assess fatty acid intake: comparison with dietary records and serum phospholipid level. J Epidemiol 13, 1 Suppl., S64S81.

14.P Barberger-Gateau , MA Jutand , L Letenneur , S Larrieu , B Tavernier & C Berr ; 3C Study Group (2005) Correlates of regular fish consumption in French elderly community dwellers: data from the Three-City study. Eur J Clin Nutr 59, 817825.

15.A Hjartaker , E Lund & KS Bjerve (1997) Serum phospholipid fatty acid composition and habitual intake of marine foods registered by a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire. Eur J Clin Nutr 51, 736742.

16.RK Woods , RM Stoney , PD Ireland , MJ Bailey , JM Raven , FC Thien , EH Walters & MJ Abramson (2002) A valid food frequency questionnaire for measuring dietary fish intake. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 11, 5661.

17.K Mina , L Fritschi & M Knuiman (2007) A valid semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire to measure fish consumption. Eur J Clin Nutr 61, 10231031.

18.AM Hodge , JA Simpson , RA Gibson , AJ Sinclair , M Makrides , K O’Dea , DR English & GG Giles (2007) Plasma phospholipid fatty acid composition as a biomarker of habitual dietary fat intake in an ethnically diverse cohort. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis 17, 415426.

19.A Baylin , MK Kim , A Donovan-Palmer , X Siles , L Dougherty , P Tocco & H Campos (2005) Fasting whole blood as a biomarker of essential fatty acid intake in epidemiologic studies: comparison with adipose tissue and plasma. Am J Epidemiol 162, 373381.

21.M Kobayashi , S Sasaki , T Kawabata , K Hasegawa , M Akabane & S Tsugane (2001) Single measurement of serum phospholipid fatty acid as a biomarker of specific fatty acid intake in middle-aged Japanese men. Eur J Clin Nutr 55, 643650.

25.BM Ross (2007) Omega-3 fatty acid deficiency in major depressive disorder is caused by the interaction between diet and a genetically determined abnormality in phospholipid metabolism. Med Hypotheses 68, 515524.

26.DF Horrobin & CN Bennett (1999) Depression and bipolar disorder: relationships to impaired fatty acid and phospholipid metabolism and to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, immunological abnormalities, cancer, ageing and osteoporosis. Possible candidate genes. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 60, 217234.

28.NA Shaikh & E Downar (1981) Time course of changes in porcine myocardial phospholipid levels during ischemia. A reassessment of the lysolipid hypothesis. Circ Res 49, 316325.

30.H Sprecher (2000) Metabolism of highly unsaturated n-3 and n-6 fatty acids. Biochim Biophys Acta 1486, 219231.

31.WS Harris & C Von Schacky (2004) The Omega-3 Index: a new risk factor for death from coronary heart disease? Prev Med 39, 212220.

32.MA Babyak (2004) What you see may not be what you get: a brief, nontechnical introduction to overfitting in regression-type models. Psychosom Med 66, 411421.

36.BJ Fuhrman , M Barba , V Krogh (2006) Erythrocyte membrane phospholipid composition as a biomarker of dietary fat. Ann Nutr Metab 50, 95102.

37.J Cao , KA Schwichtenberg , NQ Hanson & MY Tsai (2006) Incorporation and clearance of omega-3 fatty acids in erythrocyte membranes and plasma phospholipids. Clin Chem 52, 22652272.

40.AJ Brown , E Pang & DCK Roberts (1991) Erythrocyte eicosapentaenoic acid versus docosahexaenoic acid as a marker for fish and fish oil consumption. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 44, 103106.

42.WS Harris , SA Sands , SL Windsor , HA Ali , TL Stevens , A Magalski , CB Porter & AM Borkon (2004) Omega-3 fatty acids in cardiac biopsies from heart transplantation patients: correlation with erythrocytes and response to supplementation. Circulation 110, 16451649.

43.G Burdge (2004) α-Linolenic acid metabolism in men and women: nutritional and biological implications. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care 7, 137144.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Public Health Nutrition
  • ISSN: 1368-9800
  • EISSN: 1475-2727
  • URL: /core/journals/public-health-nutrition
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *