LIPID METABOLISM AND THERAPY: Edited by Philip C. Calder and Richard J. DeckelbaumThe acute and long-term effects of dietary fatty acids on vascular function in health and diseaseLovegrove, Julie A.a; Griffin, Bruce A.bAuthor Information aDepartment of Food and Nutritional Sciences and Institute for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research (ICMR), University of Reading, Whiteknights, Reading bDepartment of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Health & Medical Sciences, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, UK Correspondence to Professor Julie A. Lovegrove, Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, University of Reading, Whiteknights, P.O. Box 226, Reading RG6 6AP, UK. Tel: +44 118 378 6418; fax: +44 118 931 0080; e-mail: [email protected] Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care: March 2013 - Volume 16 - Issue 2 - p 162-167 doi: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e32835c5f29 Buy Metrics Abstract Purpose of review Vascular function is recognized as an early and integrative marker of cardiovascular disease. While there is consistent evidence that the quantity of dietary fat has significant effects on vascular function, the differential effects of individual fatty acids is less clear. This review summarizes recent evidence from randomly controlled dietary studies on the impact of dietary fatty acids on vascular function, as determined by flow-mediated dilatation (FMD). Recent findings Critical appraisal is given to five intervention studies (one acute, four chronic) which examined the impact of long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid [eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)] on FMD. In the acute setting, a high dose of long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (4.9 g per 70 kg man) improved postprandial FMD significantly, compared with a saturated fatty acid-rich meal in healthy individuals. In longer-term studies, there was limited evidence for a significant effect of EPA/DHA on FMD in diseased groups. Summary The strongest evidence for the benefits of EPA/DHA on vascular function is in the postprandial state. More evidence from randomly controlled intervention trials with foods will be required to substantiate the long-term effects of EPA/DHA, to inform public health and clinical recommendations. © 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.