Cardiovascular Health

Adequate Dietary Intake of Omega-3 LCPUFA by People Aged 55-80 Years is Associated with a Markedly Reduced Risk of Death from Cardiovascular and Coronary Heart Disease in the Context of a Mediterranean Diet

This article at a glance This study has examined the relationship between ALA and omega-3 LCPUFA intake, and the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and death in older adults. People who were at known risk of developing cardiovascular disease and that met international recommended intake levels of ALA (≥0.7 en%) and omega-3 LCPUFA (≥500 mg/d EPA plus DHA) in the context of switching to a Mediterranean diet had a 37% reduced risk of dying from any cause. The study showed that meeting omega-3 LCPUFA intake recommendations was associated with a reduction in…

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Evaluating PCSK9 as a New Point of Control for the Actions of Omega-3 LCPUFA on Blood Lipids

This article at a glance Two recent studies have addressed if dietary supplementation with fish oil or DHA-enriched canola oil would modify the plasma levels of PCSK9, a pivotal regulator of LDL levels. Modest decreases in PCSK9 levels were achieved in both studies, demonstrating that this protein is susceptible to dietary intervention by omega-3 LCPUFA. New studies may assess if PCSK9 down-regulation by omega-3 LCPUFA supplementation is of benefit to people with elevated LDL levels.   An elevated plasma low-density lipoprotein (LDL) level is associated with an increased risk of…

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Higher Total Omega-3 Intake is Associated with Less Vascular Calcification in Older Women

This article at a glance Calcification of the abdominal aorta is a predictor of cardiovascular disease (CVD), independent of other CVD risk factors. This study addressed whether vascular calcification development in adults followed over an 18-year period displays a relation to dietary intake of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. The study reports that higher alpha-linolenic acid and total omega-3 fatty acid intake is associated with reduced severity of aortic calcification in women. This association was not found in men. The results may help identify additional patient groups that are at risk…

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Modulation of the Acute Phase Response by Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Older People

This article at a glance Two recently published studies report on the relations between dietary intake and levels of poly-unsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) in blood and the acute phase response C-reactive protein (CRP) in older people. In one study, the omega-3 index was negatively associated with the levels of CRP and several other circulating markers of inflammation. In a second study, higher intake of omega-6 PUFA, and total PUFA, but not omega-3 PUFA, were found to be negatively associated with CRP, particularly in older women. The results reflect current challenges…

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Heart Health Benefits of EPA and DHA

GOED/Omega-3 Science Advisory Council White Paper Decades of research have uncovered many health benefits of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, specifically eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). EPA and DHA are both essential building blocks for tissue structures and important biological mediators in health and disease, which is why the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, as well as health advocacy groups from around the globe, recommend eating foods rich in EPA and DHA as part of an overall healthy eating pattern. Yet, there are mixed viewpoints about the cardiovascular benefits of…

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The Influence of Omega-3 LCPUFA Supplementation on Cardio-Respiratory Function during Exercise in Endurance Athletes

This article at a glance How specific nutrients modulate adaptations to exercise and endurance training is a topic of growing interest. Two recent small studies have made a careful analysis of potential cardio-respiratory changes in response to omega-3 LCPUFA supplementation in highly-trained athletes at rest, during exercise, and during recovery. The results suggest that specific improvements such as lowered heart rate, increased oxygen uptake, and faster heart rate recovery can be achieved.   Introduction Training of exercise endurance involves adaptations in the efficiency by which the cardiovascular, respiratory and skeletal…

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Cardio-Protective Effects of Omega-3 LCPUFA in Percutaneous Coronary Intervention Reperfusion Therapy after ST-Segment Elevation Acute Myocardial Infarction

This article at a glance Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) remains one of the most common causes of death globally. The study reports the results of an observational study of Japanese patients who had a STEMI-type AMI and that received percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) reperfusion therapy. The results indicate that people who had EPA + DHA levels in serum over 155 mg/ml had a markedly better outcome of PCI than people with low omega-3 LCPUFA levels; ischemia-reperfusion injury was decreased as measured by fewer reperfusion ventricular arrhythmias, lower ST-segment re-elevation, and…

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A Balanced Approach to Omega-3 Benefits

Bill Lands, Fellow, American Society for Nutrition, College Park, MD, USA Email: wemlands@att.net; Website: http://efaeducation.org/ Similarities and differences between the omega-3 (n-3) and omega-6 (n-6) essential nutrients have moved in and out of discussions over the past 50 years as the biomedical community explored their diverse actions in human health. Evidence-based misunderstandings and apparent contradictions easily occur whenever a portion of the whole is discussed without a broader context to keep a balanced perspective (e.g., 1). Current paradoxes about benefits and harm from n-3 and n-6 nutrients prompt me to…

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Usefulness of Perioperative Omega-3 Long-Chain PUFA for Lowering Postoperative Atrial Fibrillation in Patients with Recent Myocardial Infarction

 This article at a glance This intervention study showed that perioperative supplementation with EPA/DHA to patients scheduled for coronary bypass artery grafting and who had had a recent myocardial infarction led to improved results. Specifically the authors noted development of significantly fewer incidences of post-operative atrial fibrillation, less time in intensive care, and a reduced incidence of impaired wound healing. Previous studies that had studied the effect of omega-3 LCPUFA supplementation on POAF have reported inconsistent results, possibly as a result of a lack of focus on well-defined sub-groups of patients…

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Advances in Understanding the Importance of Alpha-Linolenic Acid in our Diet

    This article at a glance Results from a large prospective study in elderly people, the Cardiovascular Health Study, indicate that significant associations may exist between a higher dietary intake of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and a decreased risk of total and non-cardiovascular mortality. However, no relation between risk of mortality from various aspects of cardiovascular disease and ALA intake was found. In a pooled cohort study of eight prospective studies that covered >220,000 adults, no significant associations between ALA intake and risk of incident coronary heart disease were identified. In…

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