Nutritional supplements that contain Omega-3 help to increase blood levels of the fatty acid, new research reveals.

According to scientists at the Norwegian Institute of Food, Fisheries and Aquaculture Research, consuming Omega-3 via capsules or fortified foods produces commensurate increases in the fatty acid, helping to boost health levels.

Their report, which was published in the British Journal of Nutrition, found that fish oil supplements produced similar increases in Omega-3 as enriched fruit juice and fish pate.

Researchers studied 159 healthy men and women who consumed three fish oil capsules, 34 grams of fish pate or 500ml of fruit juice fortified with Omega-3 over a period of seven weeks.

All the participants were provided with a daily Omega-3 dose of one gram of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexanoic acid), while a fourth group received no intervention and acted as a control group.

The results of the study showed that blood levels of Omega-3 increased equally in all the intervention groups compared with the control group.

Levels of EPA were found to increase to 145 per cent, while DHA increased from 31 per cent to 50 per cent.

"Differences between the groups were not significant, indicating that fish oil capsules, enriched fruit juice and fish pate represent equivalent sources of dietary EPA and DHA," researchers commented.

"The assumption that fish intake is more effective in increasing plasma levels of EPA and DHA than fish oil was not confirmed in the present study."

However, researchers pointed out that fruit juice and fish pate were safe, well tolerated and highly palatable to the study’s participants and represented reasonable and feasible alternatives to capsules in order to meet nutritional recommendations.

Nutritional supplements have been long known to help increase blood levels of Omega-C, Vitamin C and a host of other key nutrients needed to maintain optimum health.

Posted by Matilda Jones