Skip Navigation LinksHome > February 2014 - Volume 25 - Issue 1 > Update on cardiometabolic health effects of ω-3 fatty acids
Current Opinion in Lipidology:
doi: 10.1097/MOL.0000000000000041
NUTRITION AND METABOLISM: Edited by Frank M. Sacks and Lawrence J. Appel

Update on cardiometabolic health effects of ω-3 fatty acids

Kromhout, Daan; de Goede, Janette

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Abstract

Purpose of review: The fish fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) may promote cardiometabolic health. This review summarizes the results of recent meta-analyses of prospective studies on cardiovascular diseases, diabetes type 2 and markers of atherosclerosis and thrombosis.

Recent findings: The results of recently published meta-analyses of prospective cohort studies showed that eating fish once a week was associated with a 16% lower risk of fatal coronary heart disease (CHD) and a 14% lower risk of stroke incidence, but was not related to heart failure. Fish consumption may be associated with a higher risk of diabetes in Western countries and a lower risk in Asian countries. Recent meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials showed that EPA–DHA supplementation reduced the risk of fatal CHD and sudden death by 10% of which the latter was not significant. Extra EPA–DHA did not reduce the risk of heart failure, stroke and cardiac arrhythmias. ω-3 fatty acid (FA) supplementation did reduce markers of ventricular fibrillation, inflammation and endothelial dysfunction and platelet aggregation.

Summary: There is strong evidence for a protective effect of ω-3 FA on fatal CHD and for some markers of atherosclerosis and thrombosis. Consistent results were not obtained for other vascular diseases and diabetes. ω-3 FA reduced markers of ventricular fibrillation but did not reduce the risk of atrial fibrillation.

© 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

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