If you’re considering participating in our study, you understand and appreciate that your contribution will benefit others. What you may not know is that your contribution to science will reach a global audience through our published results and that studies like this one have implications for the health and well-being of millions of people around the world.
We intend to submit our study findings for publication and use them in presentations to maximize the impact of our results. Our published articles will be evidence of your involvement in the study to which you so graciously contributed your time and effort and, if you are interested, we will provide you with a copy of any such article on publication.
Your time and effort to complete the 16-week study are sincerely appreciated. We recognize and applaud your involvement–but we also have structured the study to generate significant benefits for you personally.
If you are serious about participating, you are serious about your health. The data we are collecting will provide you with unique and valuable insights into elements of your current health and fitness status.
On completion of the study, we’ll provide you with these data and, as importantly, help you interpret them. In just four months, you will be positioned to create and implement a superior strategy in support of your health and fitness goals.
The following sections include additional detail on the specific benefits that will accrue to you for completing the study.
Health Benefits of Omega-3s
The benefits of omega-3 supplementation are well-documented (e.g., anti-inflammatory and cardioprotective benefits, among several others). If you are in either the DHA or EPA supplement group, it is highly likely that one or more of the benefits will accrue to you (assuming that you comply with the study requirements, i.e., daily supplement consumption). On the conclusion of the study, if you were included in the placebo group and would like to receive a short-term supply of omega-3 supplements, it will be our pleasure to provide them to you.
If you are eligible for this study, you exercise regularly, and your health is important to you. We gather data about your body composition, such as % muscle and % fat, using clinical grade equipment. This equipment** is not generally available to the public. The measurements we obtain will put you in a superior position to evaluate your level of fitness (an accurate current baseline) and inform your health and fitness goals.
** An example is our DEXA scanner which, in addition to body composition, will determine your bone density at a detailed level (by body part).
Blood Lipid Levels (Omega-3 and Omega-6)
On three separate occasions during the study, we will collect a small amount of blood from you (via fingertip prick) and send it to a professional lab for analysis.
On completion of the study, you will receive a comprehensive analysis of several blood lipids, including essential measures such as the Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio and the Omega-3 Index. This data will comprise an excellent baseline for you in determining the overall level of beneficial omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in your body, illustrate the degree to which your body is in a pro-inflammatory state, and can be shared (by you) with your primary care physician or other healthcare professional for their consideration during annual physical exams.
During each of your visits to the Exercise Science Physiology Lab, we will collect blood via venipuncture (what you’ve experienced if you’ve had blood drawn at a medical facility). We will send the samples we collect to a professional lab for analysis. On completion of the study, you will receive a summary of the biomarkers we evaluated.
The identification and analysis of these biomarkers (e.g., inflammatory markers) are often unavailable to the general public. You are welcome to share this information with your primary care physician or other healthcare professional for their consideration during annual physical exams, for example.
Heart Rate Variability
Heart Rate Variability (HRV) is one of the most important and least understood measures of cardiac and overall health. HRV is a measure of the beat-to-beat variability in your heart rate, with higher variability associated with overall health and well-being. Low HRV is also associated with disease states and can be a predictor of poor health. Professional (and recreational) athletes are increasingly using HRV patterns to inform and influence their training programs.
We measure HRV using clinical grade equipment via electrocardiogram (ECG) leads that are placed near your shoulders and hip. The procedure is painless and extremely accurate. If you are already using a commercial application, such as WHOOP or the Oura ring, you may be familiar with HRV, and the data that we capture will be an excellent complement to data that you may already have.
Measures of Metabolic Activity
The following measures, all recorded using clinical grade equipment that is unavailable to the general public, include Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR), VO2peak, and Respiratory Exchange Ratio (RER). We will also measure your blood lactate levels throughout the duration of the graded treadmill procedure.
RMR is a measure of your daily caloric expenditure for basic living requirements, such as breathing. An accurate RMR (e.g., 1700 calories per day) is critical for effective weight change strategies (either losing or gaining weight). We measure RMR directly, using clinical grade equipment, for superior accuracy.
VO2peak is a measure of your aerobic capacity (the highest level of oxygen you are able to take in, transport, and utilize to produce energy aerobically with breathing during vigorous exercise). We measure VO2peak directly, using clinical grade equipment, for superior accuracy.
RER is the ratio of carbon dioxide produced divided by the volume of oxygen consumed in the body. It is a common measurement during an exercise test in a clinical setting to determine the relative amounts of carbohydrate and fat that are being used as sources of energy at varying degrees of intensity.
Blood lactate levels are often used by elite athletes to guide and monitor their training regimens. Lactate thresholds are determined, and increased with appropriate training, to help these individuals perform at the highest intensity possible before fatiguing due to a high level of blood lactate. We will measure your blood lactate levels several times during the graded treadmill procedure and correlating these data with changing exercise training intensities.
Interpretation of Your Data
On completion of the 16-week study, we will provide you with a binder summarizing your measurements and data collected during the study, along with descriptions and interpretations of essential items. This binder will be yours to keep with our compliments (and our gratitude!) for completing the study in its entirety.
Coaching Session (Exercise, Recovery, and Nutrition Strategy)
When you complete all 16 weeks of the study, you will be eligible for a 60-minute, one-on-one coaching session with Brent Uken, the Principal Investigator of this study. Mr. Uken is a professionally certified strength, conditioning, and nutrition coach and has earned the CSCS, NSCA-CPT, TSAC-F, CISSN, Pn2, and FMS certifications.
During your coaching session, you will work with Mr. Uken to clarify your health, fitness, and athletic performance goals and identify effective exercise, recovery, and nutrition strategies to help you achieve them. This coaching session will be of no cost to you.
Access to State-of-the-Art Platforms and Equipment
We use state-of-the-art platforms and equipment for data collection, the same ones used by professional athletes and Olympians. You will have access to these during the study at no cost to you. You will have the option to access many of these after the conclusion of the study, although access may be via subscription and/or will be at your own expense.
We will discuss options for continued access with you during the last few weeks of the study to help you determine the most appropriate course of action given your health, fitness, and athletic performance goals.
If you would like more information about any of these benefits, please reach out to us using the “CONTACT” button below.