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n-3 Fatty acids and cardiovascular disease: evidence explained and mechanisms explored

n-3 Fatty acids and cardiovascular disease: evidence explained and mechanisms explored
n-3 Fatty acids and cardiovascular disease: evidence explained and mechanisms explored
Long chain n-3 PUFAs (polyunsaturated fatty acids) are found in fatty fish and in fish oils. Substantial evidence from epidemiological and case-control studies indicates that consumption of fish, fatty fish and long-chain n-3 PUFAs reduces the risk of cardiovascular mortality. Secondary prevention studies using long-chain n-3 PUFAs 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 PUFAs have been shown to decrease blood triacylglycerol (triglyceride) concentrations, to decrease production of chemoattractants, growth factors, adhesion molecules, inflammatory eicosanoids and inflammatory cytokines, to lower blood pressure, to increase nitric oxide production, endothelial relaxation and vascular compliance, to decrease thrombosis and cardiac arrhythmias and to increase heart rate variability. These mechanisms most likely explain the primary and secondary cardiovascular protection afforded by long-chain n-3 PUFA consumption. A recent study suggests that long-chain n-3 PUFAs might also act to stabilize advanced atherosclerotic plaques, perhaps through their anti-inflammatory effects. As a result of the robust evidence in their favour, a number of recommendations to increase intake of long-chain n-3 PUFAs have been made.
cardiovascular disease, docosahexaenoic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid, fish oil, long-chain n-3 fatty acid, polyunsaturated fatty acid
0143-5221
1-11
Calder, P.C.
1797e54f-378e-4dcb-80a4-3e30018f07a6
Calder, P.C.
1797e54f-378e-4dcb-80a4-3e30018f07a6

Calder, P.C. (2004) n-3 Fatty acids and cardiovascular disease: evidence explained and mechanisms explored. Clinical Science, 107 (1), 1-11. (doi:10.1042/CS20040119).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Long chain n-3 PUFAs (polyunsaturated fatty acids) are found in fatty fish and in fish oils. Substantial evidence from epidemiological and case-control studies indicates that consumption of fish, fatty fish and long-chain n-3 PUFAs reduces the risk of cardiovascular mortality. Secondary prevention studies using long-chain n-3 PUFAs 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 PUFAs have been shown to decrease blood triacylglycerol (triglyceride) concentrations, to decrease production of chemoattractants, growth factors, adhesion molecules, inflammatory eicosanoids and inflammatory cytokines, to lower blood pressure, to increase nitric oxide production, endothelial relaxation and vascular compliance, to decrease thrombosis and cardiac arrhythmias and to increase heart rate variability. These mechanisms most likely explain the primary and secondary cardiovascular protection afforded by long-chain n-3 PUFA consumption. A recent study suggests that long-chain n-3 PUFAs might also act to stabilize advanced atherosclerotic plaques, perhaps through their anti-inflammatory effects. As a result of the robust evidence in their favour, a number of recommendations to increase intake of long-chain n-3 PUFAs have been made.

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More information

Published date: 2004
Keywords: cardiovascular disease, docosahexaenoic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid, fish oil, long-chain n-3 fatty acid, polyunsaturated fatty acid

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 25338
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/25338
ISSN: 0143-5221
PURE UUID: d8caa285-1ae7-4827-8703-c358c6d91429

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Date deposited: 06 Apr 2006
Last modified: 15 Jul 2019 19:16

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Contributors

Author: P.C. Calder

University divisions

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