Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation combined with acute aerobic exercise does not alter the improved post-exercise insulin response in normoglycemic, inactive and overweight men

Eric Rivas, Joshua S. Wooten, Daniel E. Newmire, Vic Ben-Ezra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: The aim of this study was to determine if omega-3 (n-3) supplementation combined with acute aerobic exercise would improve glucose and insulin responses in normoglycemic, inactive, overweight men. Methods: In a random order, ten inactive and normoglycemic men (30.6 ± 10 years, 85.4 ± 11 kg, 26.7 ± 4 BMI) completed a rest (R) and exercise trial (EX) without n-3 supplementation. Following 42 days of n-3 supplementation, participants again completed a rest (R + n-3) and exercise trial (EX + n-3) with continued n-3 supplementation. The exercise trial consisted of 3 days of ~70 % VO2peak for 60 min/session. N-3 supplementation entailed 4.55 g/day of n-3 (EPA 2.45 g, DHA 1.61 g). A 75 g oral glucose tolerance (OGTT) test was administered 14–16 h after each trial. Results: Relative to R (35,278 ± 9169 pmol/L), EX without n-3 reduced the incremental area under the curve for insulin (iAUCinsulin) during an OGTT by 21.3 % (27765 ± 4925 pmol/L, p = 0.018) and 20.6 % after the EX + n-3 trial (27,999 ± 8370 pmol/L; p = 0.007). In addition, EX (96 ± 21 pmol/L; p = 0.006) reduced C-peptide by 13.5 % when compared to R (111 ± 26 pmol/L). No difference was observed between R and n-3 trials for iAUCinsulin and iAUCC-peptide. Only EX improved insulin sensitivity index by 5.6 % (p = 0.02) when compared to R. Conclusions: These data suggest that n-3 supplementation does not add any additional benefit beyond the exercise induced insulin responses in inactive men. Furthermore, n-3 supplementation alone does not appear to impair insulin action in normoglycemic, inactive, overweight men.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1255-1265
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016
Externally publishedYes



  • Aerobic exercise
  • Glucose tolerance
  • Insulin response
  • Insulin sensitivity
  • Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)

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