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Omega-3 (n-3) fatty acids, cardiovascular disease and stability of atherosclerotic plaques

Omega-3 (n-3) fatty acids, cardiovascular disease and stability of atherosclerotic plaques
Omega-3 (n-3) fatty acids, cardiovascular disease and stability of atherosclerotic plaques
Long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are found in oily fish and in fish oils and similar preparations. Substantial evidence from epidemiological and case-control studies indicates that consumption of fish, oily fish and long-chain n-3 fatty acids reduces risk of cardiovascular mortality. Secondary prevention studies using long-chain n-3 fatty acids in patients post-myocardial infarction have shown a reduction in total and cardiovascular mortality with an especially potent effect on sudden death. Long-chain n-3 fatty acids have been shown to beneficially modify a range of cardiovascular risk factors, which may result in primary cardiovascular prevention. However, reduced non-fatal and fatal events and a reduction in sudden death probably involve other mechanisms. Reduced thrombosis following long-chain n-3 fatty acids may play a role. A decrease in arrhythmias is a favoured mechanism of action of long-chain n-3 fatty acids and is supported by cell culture and animal studies. However human trials using implantable cardiac defibrillators have produced inconsistent findings and a recent meta-analysis does not support this mechanism of action. An alternative mechanism of action may be stabilisation of atherosclerotic plaques by long-chain n-3 fatty acids. This is suggested by one published human study which showed that incorporation of long-chain n-3 fatty acids into plaques collected at carotid endarterectomy resulted in fewer macrophages in the plaque and a morphology indicative of increased stability. These findings are supported from observations in an animal model and suggest that the primary effect of long-chain n-3 fatty acids might be on macrophages within the plaque.

fatty acid, fish oil, cardiovascular disease, mortality, inflammation
0145-5680
28-37
Calder, P.C.
1797e54f-378e-4dcb-80a4-3e30018f07a6
Yaqoob, P.
eb74426f-4486-41ca-bb29-2e3ce3e65b68
Calder, P.C.
1797e54f-378e-4dcb-80a4-3e30018f07a6
Yaqoob, P.
eb74426f-4486-41ca-bb29-2e3ce3e65b68

Calder, P.C. and Yaqoob, P. (2010) Omega-3 (n-3) fatty acids, cardiovascular disease and stability of atherosclerotic plaques. Cellular and Molecular Biology, 56 (1), 28-37.

Record type: Article

Abstract

Long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are found in oily fish and in fish oils and similar preparations. Substantial evidence from epidemiological and case-control studies indicates that consumption of fish, oily fish and long-chain n-3 fatty acids reduces risk of cardiovascular mortality. Secondary prevention studies using long-chain n-3 fatty acids in patients post-myocardial infarction have shown a reduction in total and cardiovascular mortality with an especially potent effect on sudden death. Long-chain n-3 fatty acids have been shown to beneficially modify a range of cardiovascular risk factors, which may result in primary cardiovascular prevention. However, reduced non-fatal and fatal events and a reduction in sudden death probably involve other mechanisms. Reduced thrombosis following long-chain n-3 fatty acids may play a role. A decrease in arrhythmias is a favoured mechanism of action of long-chain n-3 fatty acids and is supported by cell culture and animal studies. However human trials using implantable cardiac defibrillators have produced inconsistent findings and a recent meta-analysis does not support this mechanism of action. An alternative mechanism of action may be stabilisation of atherosclerotic plaques by long-chain n-3 fatty acids. This is suggested by one published human study which showed that incorporation of long-chain n-3 fatty acids into plaques collected at carotid endarterectomy resulted in fewer macrophages in the plaque and a morphology indicative of increased stability. These findings are supported from observations in an animal model and suggest that the primary effect of long-chain n-3 fatty acids might be on macrophages within the plaque.

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More information

Published date: 25 February 2010
Keywords: fatty acid, fish oil, cardiovascular disease, mortality, inflammation

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 148201
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/148201
ISSN: 0145-5680
PURE UUID: 6b964587-55a0-40ce-a221-20b4a15e77ae

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 27 Apr 2010 12:22
Last modified: 17 Jul 2019 00:03

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Contributors

Author: P.C. Calder
Author: P. Yaqoob

University divisions

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