Cardiovascular Health

Eicosapentaenoic Acid and Docosahexaenoic Acid: Are They Different?

Trevor A Mori, Ph.D., Professor, School of Medicine and Pharmacology, Royal Perth Hospital Unit, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia. Many of the cardiovascular benefits ascribed to omega-3 (n-3) fatty acids were initially attributed to eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) rather than docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). It was suggested that some of the effects of EPA were due to its being a competitive inhibitor of arachidonic acid for the cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase enzymes, leading to prostaglandins and leukotrienes with attenuated bioactivity compared with the respective arachidonic acid analogues. However, we now know that…

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Antimicrobial Defense Linked to the Hemostatic Response

This article at a glance This study reports that the coagulation of blood leads to the formation of arachidonic acid (AA)-, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)- and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)-derived specialized proresolving mediators (SPMs) that promote microbial clearance. Clotting of human whole blood led to the formation of a distinct cluster of SPMs, namely lipoxin B4, resolvin E1, resolvin D1, resolvin D5, and maresin 1. The results uncover a new role of hemostasis that extends beyond the current understanding of it as a passive barrier that stems bleeding, to one that involves…

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The RvD1/LTB4 Ratio in Saliva – Assessing the Usefulness of an Innovative Biomarker for the Resolution of Inflammation in Vascular Disease.

This article at a glance The potential utility of the ratio of resolvin D1 (RvD1), a pro-resolving lipid mediator derived from DHA, to leukotriene B4 (LTB4), a pro-inflammatory mediator derived from AA, in saliva was determined to predict the level of non-resolving vascular inflammation. The study reports that patients with a higher carotid intima-media thickness as a marker of subclinical atherosclerosis had a significantly lower RvD1/LTB4 ratio. The ratio integrates resolution and inflammation processes using lipid mediator levels that can be determined by an ELISA method in readily collected saliva….

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Guidelines and EPA+DHA: Irreconcilable?

  Prof. Dr. C. von Schacky, Preventive Cardiology, Med Clinic I, University of Munich, and Omegametrix, Martinsried, both Germany. Email: Clemens.vonSchacky@med.uni-muenchen.de   Cardiac societies, like the American Heart Association (AHA) or the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), periodically publish guidelines, among them on primary or secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease (AHA) or cardiovascular prevention (ESC) (1,2). In addition, AHA also sometimes publishes “scientific statements” or “science advisories” on certain topics, of which a recent one dealt with supplements containing the two omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid…

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Evaluating the Value of Stratification on Omega-3 LCPUFA Levels when the Randomized Controlled Testing Methodology is not Sufficiently Well-Controlled

This article at a glance This pilot study evaluated the concept that stratification of study participants can be useful for improving interpretations of the relationship between long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (LCPUFA) intake and biological effect. In patients scheduled for coronary artery bypass graft and/or heart valve replacement surgery, one group of individuals randomly assigned to receive pre-operative fish oil supplementation displayed largely overlapping erythrocyte membrane omega-3 levels with placebo-treated patients. After stratifying the pooled patient groups by high and low omega-3 status, or their omega-3 to omega-6 ratio, statistically significant…

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Evaluating the Formation of Non-Enzymatic Oxidation Products of EPA and AA in a Population at Risk for Omega-3 Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Deficiency

This article at a glance This study addressed the relationship between omega-3 status in the Inuit and the plasma levels of omega-3 LCPUFA-derived isoprostanes. EPA-derived isoprostane levels were positively related to omega-3 fatty acid status, and unrelated to cardiometabolic risk factors, unlike isoprostanes derived from arachidonic acid. Older Inuit that adhere more strongly to traditional marine food sources had higher levels of EPA-derived isoprostanes, possibly reflecting a contribution of higher omega-3 intake to reducing cardiometabolic disease risk.   A diet rich in omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA), such as…

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A Multilayered Biomaterial for Vectorial Release of DHA-Derived RvD1 to Restrain Local Tissue Inflammatory Responses and Disorders

This article at a glance A thin, pliable, biodegradable multi-layered material incorporating the DHA-derived lipid mediator resolvin D1 (RvD1) was developed. The thin-film device allowed sustained diffusion of RvD1 from the surface with the lowest copolymer density, permitting one-sided release. RvD1 could be released from the thin-film device into arterial tissue, and activated anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative and anti-migratory activity in smooth muscle cells. Thin-film devices eluting specific pro-resolving lipid mediators (SPMs), such as RvD1, may be further developed for applications in surgical and endovascular interventions to lower or resolve local inflammatory…

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Lower Risk of Heart Failure Linked to Higher Blood EPA Concentrations

In congestive heart failure, the heart is unable to pump sufficient blood for the rest of the body’s needs. The condition can develop as a result of coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes or other disorder. About 75% of patients with heart failure have hypertension, with a previous myocardial infarction posing nearly as great a risk. The American Heart Association estimates that approximately half the people diagnosed with heart failure die within 5 years. After the age of 40, the chance of developing heart failure is 1 in…

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Gaining Insight into the Relative Contributions of EPA and DHA to Lowering the Risk for Atherothrombotic Disease Incidence

This article at a glance Two recent studies have assessed whether either EPA or DHA may be more closely associated to markers of risk for the development and incidence of atherosclerotic disease. In elderly Japanese patients at high risk for acute atherothrombotic complications, the serum EPA level was associated with a lower incidence of plaque destabilization and infarction. In obese adults 18-70 years old with sub-clinical systemic inflammation, the daily intake of DHA was related to a more marked anti-inflammatory blood profile than EPA intake. The studies provide new indications…

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EPA/DHA Intake Linked to Lower Risk for Myocardial Infarction Related to PCB Exposure

This article at a glance This is the first prospective cohort study that determined if a relationship between PCB exposure and risk for myocardial infarction exists in men, and if such an association is sensitive to the dietary intake of EPA and DHA. The study reports that PCB exposure is linked to a higher risk for myocardial infarction in a large group of adult Swedish men followed for 12 years. Adult men with a higher EPA/DHA intake had a lower incidence of myocardial infarction associated with PCB exposure.   Polychlorinated…

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