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nightsurfer on 2009-12-14n-3 Fatty acids and cardiovascular disease: mechanisms underlying beneficial effects.
Jung UJ, Torrejon C, Tighe AP, Deckelbaum RJ.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Jun;87(6):2003S-9S.
Dietary n–3 fatty acids, particularly eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, are important nutrients through the life cycle. Evidence from observational, clinical, animal, and in vitro studies indicates a beneficial role of n–3 fatty acids in the prevention and management of cardiovascular disease. Although the precise mechanisms are still unclear, clinical and preclinical studies indicate that the cardioprotective effects of n–3 fatty acids may be attributed to a number of distinct biological effects on lipid and lipoprotein metabolism, blood pressure, platelet function, arterial cholesterol delivery, vascular function, and inflammatory responses.
Substantial evidence supports n–3 fatty acids as a practical, therapeutic adjuvant for promoting cardiovascular health and preventing and treating disease. n–3 Fatty acids modulate a number of important physiologic responses that can contribute to their cardioprotective effects. The multiple and complex mechanisms through which DHA and EPA exert their action appear to be distinct but also complementary. However, more studies are needed to quantify their protective effects and to define exact mechanisms of action.