This depends on your research question. For example, if a study is examining the short term (1 day to 2-4 weeks) effects of fish oil supplementation on omega-3 status, then plasma is the preferred analytical sample type; if longer term studies are contemplated (>1 month, optimally >4 months), then RBCs provide a more robust picture of status. Platelets turn over in about 10 days, RBCs in 120. Hence, short term studies can use platelets to track fatty acid compositional changes as well as plasma.

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