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Polyunsaturated Fats Linked to Lower Levels of Inflammation

Last Updated: May 11, 2009.

Long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids from seafood were associated with lower levels of biomarkers of inflammation and endothelial activation, according to research published in the May 1 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

MONDAY, May 11 (HealthDay News) -- Long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) from seafood were associated with lower levels of biomarkers of inflammation and endothelial activation, according to research published in the May 1 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

Ka He, M.D., of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and colleagues analyzed data from 5,677 men and women, ages 45 to 84 years, who had no history of clinical cardiovascular disease. Participants underwent measurements of subclinical cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular risk factors, and answered a food frequency questionnaire.

The researchers found that intake of long-chain omega-3 PUFAs was inversely associated with interleukin-6 and matrix metalloproteinase-3 (MMP-3). Consumption of nonfried fish was inversely related to C-reactive protein and interleukin-6, and fried fish was inversely related to soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1.

"In the present study, we found independent inverse associations of long-chain omega-3 PUFAs and nonfried fish with interleukin-6, C-reactive protein, and MMP-3. The relevance of these inflammatory and endothelial activation biomarkers in the atherogenic process has been recognized," the authors write. "Studies suggest that C-reactive protein and interleukin-6, two systemic inflammatory markers, are independent predictors of cardiovascular disease and may play important role in atherogenesis. In addition, MMP-3 is suggested an independent prognostic factor in stable coronary artery disease. Several lines of evidence support the important role of MMPs in plaque stability."

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