Omega-3 Fatty Acids: The Implication in Cardiovascular Disease

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Laddawal Phivthong-ngam


Omega-3 fatty acids, like eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), mainly containing in fish oil, are essential polyunsaturated fatty acids. Early studies in Greenland Eskimos stimulated interest in evaluating the effect of omega-3 fatty acids on cardiovascular diseases. Subsequent studies showed a significant decrease in triglyceride levels in patients receiving high dose of fish oil containing EPA and DHA. These studies have also shown a dose-response effect which persists as long as supplementation continues. Later trials have demonstrated a correlation between omega-3 fatty acids consumption and a reduction in cardiac death rates and in the incidence of cardiac symptoms. This benefit may be mediated through favorable changes in lipid profiles, anti-arrhythmic effects, alteration of eicosanoid production, and down-regulation of thrombotic, decrease of abnormal platelet aggregation and vascular inflammatory process.


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