Urinary Metabolite Profiling to Non-Invasively Monitor the Omega-3 Index: An Exploratory Secondary Analysis of a Randomized Clinical Trial in Young Adults Journal Articles uri icon

  • Overview
  • Research
  • Identity
  • Additional Document Info
  • View All


  • The Omega-3 Index (O3I) reflects eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) content in erythrocytes. While the O3I is associated with numerous health outcomes, its widespread use is limited. We investigated whether urinary metabolites could be used to non-invasively monitor the O3I in an exploratory analysis of a previous placebo-controlled, parallel arm randomized clinical trial in males and females (n = 88) who consumed either ~3 g/d olive oil (OO; control), EPA, or DHA for 12 weeks. Fasted blood and first-void urine samples were collected at baseline and following supplementation, and they were analyzed via gas chromatography and multisegment injection–capillary electrophoresis–mass spectrometry (MSI-CE-MS), respectively. We tentatively identified S-carboxypropylcysteamine (CPCA) as a novel urinary biomarker reflecting O3I status, which increased following both EPA and DHA (p < 0.001), but not OO supplementation, and was positively correlated to the O3I (R = 0.30, p < 0.001). Additionally, an unknown dianion increased following DHA supplementation, but not EPA or OO. In ROC curve analyses, CPCA outperformed all other urinary metabolites in distinguishing both between OO and EPA or DHA supplementation groups (AUC > 80.0%), whereas the unknown dianion performed best in discriminating OO from DHA alone (AUC = 93.6%). Candidate urinary biomarkers of the O3I were identified that lay the foundation for a non-invasive assessment of omega-3 status.


  • MacIntyre, Brittany C
  • Shanmuganathan, Meera
  • Klingel, Shannon L
  • Kroezen, Zachary
  • Helmeczi, Erick
  • Seoh, Na-Yung
  • Martinez, Vanessa
  • Chabowski, Adrian
  • Feng, Zeny
  • Britz Mckibbin, Philip
  • Mutch, David M

publication date

  • October 12, 2023