Guest Articles and Invited Opinion

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

Maternal Plasma Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) Concentrations Increase at the Critical Time of Neural Tube Closure

  Barbara J Meyer (University of Wollongong, Australia) Dilys J Freeman (University of Glasgow, UK)   Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) metabolism DHA is an omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3 LCPUFA) containing 22 carbons and 6 carbon to carbon double bonds denoted as 22:6n-3. It is an n-3 fatty acid because the first carbon to carbon double bond is on the third carbon from the methyl end of the fatty acid chain: hence the terminology n minus 3 (n-3) because you need to count backwards…

Read More

Enhancing Breast Cancer Treatment with Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Miranda Brun, PhD and Catherine J. Field, PhD RD Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada   In North America and Europe, breast cancer accounts for over 25% of all new cancer diagnoses in women, and approximately 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime (1-3). Despite ongoing advances in screening, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment, breast cancer remains the second leading cause of cancer-related death in women, and one of the most expensive to treat (4). Relapse and metastasis…

Read More

F3-Isoprostanes and F4-Neuroprostanes: Non-enzymatic Cyclic Oxygenated Metabolites of Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids: Biomarkers and Bioactive Lipids

Jean-Marie Galano, Camille Oger, Valérie Bultel-Poncé, Guillaume Reversat, Alexandre Guy, Joseph Vercauteren, Claire Vigor, Thierry Durand. Institut des Biomolécules Max Mousseron (IBMM), UMR 5247, CNRS, Université de Montpellier, ENSCM, Montpellier, France.   Thierry Durand Institut des Biomolécules Max Mousseron (IBMM), UMR 5247, CNRS, Université de Montpellier, ENSCM, Montpellier (France). Phone: +33 4 11 75 95 58 / Email: Thierry.Durand@umontpellier.fr   Abstract: The isoprostanoids are non-enzymatic oxygenated metabolites derived from polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) formed in vivo by free radical mechanism. Those cyclic oxygenated metabolites named isoprostanes (IsoPs) were originally discovered…

Read More

Is Arachidonic Acid Required to Balance Docosahexaenoic Acid in Infant Feeding for Proper Development?

Thomas Brenna Division of Nutritional Sciences Cornell University Ithaca, NY 14853 USA jtb4@cornell.edu / 607-255-9182   The long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA) docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (AA, or ARA) are conserved components of the breast milks of all well-nourished mothers worldwide. Since at least the mid-1990s, they have been permitted as components of infant formulas in Europe, and since 2001 in the USA. Prior to about 1990, the safest sources of fats for infant formulas were vegetable oils with no LCPUFA, or dairy fat with negligible DHA. Concerns…

Read More

On the Contribution of Plasma Lysophospholipid and Non-Esterified Docosahexaenoic Acid to the Brain

Richard P. Bazinet Associate Professor, Canada Research Chair in Brain Lipid Metabolism Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto FitzGerald Building, 150 College Street, Room 306 Toronto, ON, Canada M5S 3E2 Email – richard.bazinet@utoronto.ca   The brain has a lot of docosahexaenoic acid The brain is particularly enriched with the polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; 22:6n-3) while being almost devoid of other omega-3 PUFA, such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Within the brain DHA makes up around 10% of the total fatty acids and about 50%…

Read More

The Impact of Common Gene Variants on EPA and DHA Status and Responsiveness to Increased Intakes

Professor Anne Marie Minihane Department of Nutrition and Preventive Medicine, Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia (UEA), Norwich, UK Website: https://www.uea.ac.uk/medicine/people/profile/a-minihane   Setting the Scene A large body of human prospective epidemiology, as well as rodent feeding studies, have demonstrated the beneficial impact of the “marine” long chain n-3 PUFA (LC n-3 PUFA), EPA (20:5n-3) and DHA (22:6n-3), on fetal development, and cardiovascular and cognitive health. Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) have been less congruent, with this apparent lack of consistency likely attributable to a whole host of determinants of…

Read More

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…

Read More

Metabolic Effects of Long Chain n-3 Fatty Acids: Implications for Prevention of Diabetes

Professor Jacques Delarue, MD, PhD Department of Nutritional Sciences & Laboratory of Human Nutrition University Hospital/Faculty of Medicine/University of Brest, France jacques.delarue@univ-brest.fr   Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is a worldwide increasing non-communicable disease characterized by the association with insulin-resistance and defects in insulin secretion. The main factors explaining this increasing prevalence beyond polygenic predisposition are obesity and sedentariness. The basic mechanisms sustaining insulin-resistance (IR) and defects in insulin-secretion are becoming better known. Insulin-resistance relates to the liver, muscle and adipose tissue (AT). Hepatic glucose production is excessive, due to increased…

Read More