Javierre et al. (2005) assessed the effects on lipid profile and fasting blood glucose in 19 adult males with SCI at 3 and 6 months following daily supplementation of 1.5 grams DHA and 0.75 grams of EPA. Despite significant increases in the plasma concentration of DHA and EPA, plasma concentrations of glucose, total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, very low density lipoprotein cholesterol (VLDL), and triglycerides did not show differences as the result of n-3 fatty acid supplementation.
In a follow-up study Javierre et al. (2006) determined whether omega-3 fatty acid supplementation contributed to improved muscle strength and endurance capacity in persons with SCI. Twenty-one males, 18 with paraplegia and three with tetraplegia, underwent global physical evaluations at baseline, three months and six months of receiving omega-3 fatty acid supplementation. Participants continued with their usual diet while taking 1.5 grams per day of DHA and 0.60 grams per day of EPA plus 9 mg of alpha tocopherol provided in capsules; two capsules at each of three meals were consumed. No adverse effects were observed during the supplementation period. Increases in the concentrations of plasma DHA and EPA were observed. Body weight of the participants was stable during the study. There was an observed improvement in the functional capacity of the neuromuscular system as shown in enhanced strength and endurance of the upper-body musculature in the tests performed by the subjects
There is level 4 evidence (from one pre-post study; Javierre et al. 2005) that daily supplementation with DHA (1.5 g) and EPA (0.75 g) increases plasma DHA and EPA levels but does not alter total cholesterol, very low-, low-, or high-density lipoprotein, triglycerides, or glucose.
There is level 4 evidence (from one pre-post study; Javierre et al. 2006) that DHA and EPA supplementation increases upper body strength and endurance in persons with SCI.
Blood concentrations of DHA and EPA increased as a result of supplementation; however, no significant changes in lipid profile were identified.
DHA and EPA supplementation increase upper body strength and endurance in persons with SCI.