Few EU countries meet targets for saturated fatty acid (SFA) intake. Dairy products usually represent the single largest source of SFA, yet evidence indicates that milk has cardioprotective properties. Options for replacing some of the SFA in milk fat with cis-monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) through alteration of the cow’s diet are examined. Also, few people achieve minimum recommended intakes (~450–500 mg/d) of the long chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Enrichment of EPA+DHA in poultry meat via bird nutrition is described and how this would impact on habitual intake is discussed.
lipids; animal nutrition
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a liver manifestation of metabolic syndrome since obesity and insulin resistance are the main pathogenic contributors for both conditions. NAFLD carries increased risk of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases. There is an urgent need to find effective and safe therapy for children and adults with NAFLD. Data from research and clinical studies suggest that omega-3 fatty acids may be beneficial in metabolic syndrome-related conditions and can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
We are conducting a randomized, multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of treatment with omega-3 fatty acids in children with NAFLD. Patients are randomized to receive either omega-3 fatty acids containing docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) or placebo for 24 weeks. The dose of omega-3 (DHA+ EPA) ranges from 450 to 1300 mg daily. Low calorie diet and increased physical activity are advised and monitored using validated questionnaires. The primary outcome of the trial is the number of patients who decreased ALT activity by ≥ 0,3 of upper limit of normal. The main secondary outcomes are improvement in the laboratory liver tests, liver steatosis on ultrasound, markers of insulin resistance and difference in fat/lean body mass composition after 6 months of intervention.
Potential efficacy of omega-3 fatty acids in the treatment of NAFLD will provide needed rationale for use of this safe diet supplement together with weight reduction therapy in the growing population of children with NAFLD.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease; Omega-3 fatty acids; Polyunsaturated fatty acids; Randomized controlled trial; Children
Results of observational and experimental studies investigating the association between intake of long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and risk of atrial fibrillation (AF) have been inconsistent.
We studied the association of fish and the fish-derived n-3 PUFAs eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) with the risk of incident AF in individuals aged 45–64 from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) cohort (n = 14,222, 27% African Americans). Intake of fish and of DHA and EPA were measured via food frequency questionnaire. Plasma levels of DHA and EPA were measured in phospholipids in a subset of participants (n = 3,757). Incident AF was identified through the end of 2008 using ECGs, hospital discharge codes and death certificates. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to estimate hazard ratios of AF by quartiles of n-3 PUFAs or by fish intake.
During the average follow-up of 17.6 years, 1,604 AF events were identified. In multivariable analyses, total fish intake and dietary DHA and EPA were not associated with AF risk. Higher intake of oily fish and canned tuna was associated with a nonsignificant lower risk of AF (p for trend = 0.09). Phospholipid levels of DHA+EPA were not related to incident AF. However, DHA and EPA showed differential associations with AF risk when analyzed separately, with lower risk of AF in those with higher levels of DHA but no association between EPA levels and AF risk.
In this racially diverse sample, dietary intake of fish and fish-derived n-3 fatty acids, as well as plasma biomarkers of fish intake, were not associated with AF risk.
The long-chain n-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) have human health benefits. Alternatives to fish as sources of EPA and DHA are needed. Oil from the micro-algae Nannochloropsis oculata contains a significant amount of EPA conjugated to phospholipids and glycolipids and no DHA. Krill oil contains EPA and DHA conjugated to phospholipids. We compare the appearance of fatty acids in blood plasma of healthy humans after consuming a high fat meal followed by either algal oil or krill oil.
Ten healthy males aged 18-45 years consumed a standard high fat (55 g) breakfast followed by either algal oil (providing 1.5 g EPA and no DHA) or krill oil (providing 1.02 g EPA and 0.54 g DHA). All participants consumed both oils in random order and separated by 7 days. Blood samples were collected before the breakfast and at several time points up to 10 hours after taking the oils. Fatty acid concentrations (μg/ml) in plasma were determined by gas chromatography.
Fatty acids derived mainly from the breakfast appeared rapidly in plasma, peaking about 3 hours after consuming the breakfast, and in a pattern that reflected their content in the breakfast. There were time-dependent increases in the concentrations of both EPA and DHA with both algal oil (P < 0.001 for EPA; P = 0.027 for DHA) and krill oil (P < 0.001 for both EPA and DHA). The concentration of EPA was higher with algal oil than with krill oil at several time points. DHA concentration did not differ between oils at any time point. The maximum concentration of EPA was higher with algal oil (P = 0.010) and both the area under the concentration curve (AUC) and the incremental AUC for EPA were greater with algal oil (P = 0.020 and 0.006). There was no difference between oils in the AUC or the incremental AUC for DHA.
This study in healthy young men given a single dose of oil indicates that the polar-lipid rich oil from the algae Nannochloropis oculata is a good source of EPA in humans.
Omega-3; Eicosapentaenoic acid; Docosahexaenoic acid; Algal oil; Krill oil; Polar lipids; Glycolipids; Phospholipids
Dietary very long chain omega (ω)-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) have been associated with reduced CVD risk, the mechanisms of which have yet to be fully elucidated. LDL receptor null mice (LDLr-/-) were used to assess the effect of different ratios of dietary ω-6 PUFA to eicosapentaenoic acid plus docosahexaenoic acid (ω-6:EPA+DHA) on atherogenesis and inflammatory response. Mice were fed high saturated fat diets without EPA and DHA (HSF ω-6), or with ω-6:EPA+DHA at ratios of 20:1 (HSF R=20:1), 4:1 (HSF R=4:1), and 1:1 (HSF R=1:1) for 32 weeks. Mice fed the lowest ω-6:EPA+DHA ratio diet had lower circulating concentrations of non-HDL cholesterol (25%, P<0.05) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) (44%, P<0.05) compared to mice fed the HSF ω-6 diet. Aortic and elicited peritoneal macrophage (Mϕ) total cholesterol were 24% (P=0.07) and 25% (P<0.05) lower, respectively, in HSF R=1:1 compared to HSF ω-6 fed mice. MCP-1 mRNA levels and secretion were 37% (P<0.05) and 38% (P<0.05) lower, respectively, in elicited peritoneal Mϕ isolated from HSF R=1:1 compared to HSF ω-6 fed mice. mRNA and protein levels of ATP-binding cassette A1, and mRNA levels of TNFα were significantly lower in elicited peritoneal Mϕ isolated from HSF R=1:1 fed mice, whereas there was no significant effect of diets with different ω-6:EPA+DHA ratios on CD36, Mϕ scavenger receptor 1, scavenger receptor B1 and IL-6 mRNA or protein levels. These data suggest that lower ω-6:EPA+DHA ratio diets lowered some measures of inflammation and Mϕ cholesterol accumulation, which was associated with less aortic lesion formation in LDLr-/- mice.
ω-6:EPA+DHA ratio; ω-3 fatty acids; atherosclerosis; inflammation; macrophage cholesterol accumulation; LDLr-/- mouse; diet; elicited peritoneal Mϕ
Bioactivities of Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) depend on their chemical forms. The present study was to investigate short term effects of triglyceride (TG), ethyl ester (EE), free fatty acid (FFA) and phospholipid (PL) forms of omega-3 fatty acid (FA) on lipid metabolism in mice, fed high fat or low fat diet.
Male Balb/c mice were fed with 0.7% different Omega-3 fatty acid formulation: DHA bound free fatty acid (DHA-FFA), DHA bound triglyceride (DHA-TG), DHA bound ethyl ester (DHA-EE) and DHA bound phospholipid (DHA-PL) for 1 week, with dietary fat levels at 5% and 22.5%. Serum and hepatic lipid concentrations were analyzed, as well as the fatty acid composition of liver and brain.
At low fat level, serum total cholesterol (TC) level in mice fed diets with DHA-FFA, DHA-EE and DHA-PL were significantly lower than that in the control group (P < 0.05). Hepatic TG level decreased significantly in mice fed diets with DHA-TG (P < 0.05), DHA-EE (P < 0.05) and DHA-PL (P < 0.05), while TC level in liver was significantly lower in mice fed diets with TG and EE compared with the control group (P < 0.05). At high fat level, mice fed diets with DHA-EE and DHA-PL had significantly lower hepatic TC level compared with the control diet (P < 0.05). Hepatic PL concentration experienced a significant increase in mice fed the diet with PL at high fat level (P < 0.05). Furthermore, both at low and high fat levels, hepatic DHA level significantly increased and AA level significantly decreased in all forms of DHA groups (P < 0.05), compared to control groups at two different fat levels, respectively. Additionally, cerebral DHA level in mice fed diets with DHA-FFA, DHA-EE and DHA-PL significantly increased compared with the control at high fat level (P < 0.05), but no significant differences were observed among dietary treatments for mice fed diets with low fat level.
The present study suggested that not only total dietary fat content but also the molecular forms of omega-3 fatty acids contributed to lipid metabolism in mice. DHA-PL showed effective bioactivity in decreasing hepatic and serum TC, TG levels and increasing omega-3 concentration in liver and brain.
Omega-3 fatty acid; DHA; EPA; Lipid metabolism; Triglycerides; Ethyl ester; Phospholipids
The high incidence of insulin resistance and the metabolic syndrome in South Asians remains unexplained. I propose that a defect in the activity of Δ6 and Δ5 desaturases and consequent low plasma and tissue concentrations of polyunsaturated fatty acids such as γ-linolenic acid (GLA), dihomo-γ-linolenic acid (DGLA), arachidonic acid (AA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and formation of their anti-inflammatory products prostaglandin E1 (PGE1), prostacyclin (PGI2), PGI3, lipoxins, resolvins, protectins, maresins and nitrolipids could be responsible for the high incidence of insulin resistance, the metabolic syndrome and ischemic heart disease (IHD) in South Asians. This proposal is supported by the observation that South Asian Indians have lower plasma and tissue concentrations of GLA, DGLA, AA, EPA and DHA, the precursors of PGE1, PGI2, PGI3, lipoxins, resolvins, protectins, and nitrolipids, the endogenous molecules that prevent platelet aggregation, vasoconstriction, thrombus formation, leukocyte activation and possess anti-inflammatory action and thus, are capable of preventing the development of insulin resistance, atherosclerosis, hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus and premature ischemic heart disease. Genetic predisposition, high carbohydrate intake, lack of exercise, tobacco use and low birth weight due to maternal malnutrition suppress the activity of Δ6 and Δ5 desaturases that leads to low plasma and tissue concentrations of polyunsaturated fatty acids and their products. This implies that adequate provision of polyunsaturated fatty acids and co-factors needed for their metabolism, and efforts to enhance the formation of their beneficial metabolites PGE1, PGI2, PGI3, lipoxins, resolvins, protectins, maresins and nitrolipids could form a novel approach in the prevention and management of these diseases in this high-risk population.
Little evidence is available for the validity of dietary fish and polyunsaturated fatty acid intake derived from interviewer-administered questionnaires and plasma docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) concentration.
We estimated the correlation of DHA and EPA intake from both questionnaires and biochemical measurements. Ethnic Chinese adults with a mean (± SD) age of 59.8 (±12.8) years (n = 297) (47% women) who completed a 38-item semi-quantitative food-frequency questionnaire and provided a plasma sample were enrolled. Plasma fatty acids were analyzed by capillary gas chromatography.
The Spearmen rank correlation coefficients between the intake of various types of fish and marine n-3 fatty acids as well as plasma DHA were significant, ranging from 0.20 to 0.33 (P < 0.001). In addition, dietary EPA, C22:5 n-3 and DHA were significantly correlated with the levels of marine n-3 fatty acids and DHA, with the Spearman rank correlation coefficients ranging from 0.26 to 0.35 (P < 0.001). Moreover, compared with those in the lowest fish intake quintile, participants in the highest quintile had a significantly higher DHA level (adjusted mean difference, 0.99 ± 0.10%, test for trend, P < 0.001). Similar patterns between dietary DHA intake and plasma DHA levels were found. However, the association between dietary fish intake and plasma EPA was not significant (test for trend, P = 0.69).
The dietary intakes of fish and of long chain n-3 fatty acids, as determined by the food frequency questionnaire, were correlated with the percentages of these fatty acids in plasma, and in particular with plasma DHA. Plasma DHA levels were correlated to dietary intake of long-chain n-3 fatty acids.
N-3 fatty acid; Biomarker; Food frequency questionnaire
Visceral fat accumulation is caused by over-nutrition and physical inactivity. Excess accumulation of visceral fat associates with atherosclerosis. Polyunsaturated fatty acids have an important role in human nutrition, but imbalance of dietary long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, especially low eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) / arachidonic acid (AA) ratio, is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease. The present study investigated the correlation between EPA, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), AA parameters and clinical features in male subjects.
The study subjects were 134 Japanese with diabetes, hypertension and/or dyslipidemia who underwent measurement of visceral fat area (eVFA) by the bioelectrical impedance method and serum levels of EPA, DHA and AA. EPA/AA ratio correlated positively with age, and negatively with waist circumference and eVFA. Stepwise regression analysis demonstrated that age and eVFA correlated significantly and independently with serum EPA/AA ratio. Serum EPA/AA ratio, but not serum DHA/AA and (EPA+DHA)/AA ratios, was significantly lower in subjects with eVFA ≥100 cm2, compared to those with eVFA <100 cm2 (p=0.049). Subjects with eVFA ≥100 cm2 were significantly more likely to have the metabolic syndrome and history of cardiovascular diseases, compared to those with eVFA <100 cm2 (p<0.001, p=0.028, respectively).
Imbalance of dietary long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (low serum EPA/AA ratio) correlated with visceral fat accumulation in male subjects.
Clinical trial registration number
Arachidonic acid; Eicosapentaenoic acid; Docosahexaenoic acid; Visceral fat; Metabolic syndrome; Obesity
Saury oil contains considerable amounts of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) with long aliphatic tails (>18C atoms). Ingestion of saury oil reduces the risk of developing metabolic syndrome concomitant with increases in n-3 PUFA and long-chain MUFA in plasma and organs of mice. We therefore evaluated changes in postprandial plasma fatty acid levels and plasma parameters in healthy human subjects after ingestion of a single meal of saury.
Five healthy human adults ingested 150 g of grilled saury. Blood was collected before the meal and at 2, 6, and 24 hr after the meal, and plasma was prepared. Plasma levels of eicosapentaenoic acid, docosahexaenoic acid, and long-chain MUFA (C20:1 and C22:1 isomers combined) increased significantly throughout the postprandial period compared with the pre-meal baseline. Postprandial plasma insulin concentration increased notably, and plasma levels of glucose and free fatty acids decreased significantly and subsequently returned to the pre-meal levels.
Our study suggests that a single saury meal may alter the postprandial plasma levels of n-3 PUFA and long-chain MUFA in healthy human subjects.
Saury; n-3 PUFA; MUFA; Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA); Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
Higher dietary intake and circulating levels of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) have been related to a reduced risk for dementia, but the pathways underlying this association remain unclear. We examined the cross-sectional relation of red blood cell (RBC) fatty acid levels to subclinical imaging and cognitive markers of dementia risk in a middle-aged to elderly community-based cohort.
We related RBC DHA and EPA levels in dementia-free Framingham Study participants (n = 1,575; 854 women, age 67 ± 9 years) to performance on cognitive tests and to volumetric brain MRI, with serial adjustments for age, sex, and education (model A, primary model), additionally for APOE ϵ4 and plasma homocysteine (model B), and also for physical activity and body mass index (model C), or for traditional vascular risk factors (model D).
Participants with RBC DHA levels in the lowest quartile (Q1) when compared to others (Q2–4) had lower total brain and greater white matter hyperintensity volumes (for model A: β ± SE = −0.49 ± 0.19; p = 0.009, and 0.12 ± 0.06; p = 0.049, respectively) with persistence of the association with total brain volume in multivariable analyses. Participants with lower DHA and ω-3 index (RBC DHA+EPA) levels (Q1 vs Q2–4) also had lower scores on tests of visual memory (β ± SE = −0.47 ± 0.18; p = 0.008), executive function (β ± SE = −0.07 ± 0.03; p = 0.004), and abstract thinking (β ± SE = −0.52 ± 0.18; p = 0.004) in model A, the results remaining significant in all models.
Lower RBC DHA levels are associated with smaller brain volumes and a “vascular” pattern of cognitive impairment even in persons free of clinical dementia.
We investigated the fatty acid profiles of muscle from large yellow croaker (Pseudosciaena crocea R.) of different age. One- and two-year-old fish were cultured in floating net cages and sampled randomly for analysis. Moisture, protein, lipid and ash contents were determined by methods of Association of Analytical Chemist (AOAC) International. Fatty acid profile was determined by gas chromatography. Crude protein, fat, moisture and ash contents showed no significant differences between the two age groups. The contents of total polyunsaturated fatty acids and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) were significantly higher and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) content was significantly lower in the two-year-old large yellow croaker than in the one-year-old (P<0.05). No significant differences were observed in the contents of total saturated fatty acids and monounsaturated fatty acids, or the ratio of n-3/n-6 fatty acids among the large yellow croakers of the two age groups. We conclude that large yellow croakers are good food sources of EPA and DHA.
Fatty acid; Large yellow croaker; Age
The chemical changes in skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis) subjected to cooking, frying, canning and microwave heating were studied. Raw tuna contained an unusual fatty acid C16:3 in high proportion (29.3%) followed by C18:2, C24:1, C16:0 and C18:3. Health beneficial fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) (1.67%) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (2.50%), were quite low with ω-3/ω-6 ratio 0.28. The total saturated fatty acids suffered major loss in fried (70%) and canned tuna (40%) due to loss of C16:0, C14:0 and C22:0. The monounsaturated fatty acids content increased (38%) in cooked and microwave heated tuna due to C24:1. The polyunsaturated fatty acids content increased in fried (50%) and canned (25%) tuna due to the uptake of frying and filling oil, respectively during processing. The loss of health beneficial ω-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA were minimum in cooked tuna followed by microwave heated tuna. Canning totally destroyed these fatty acids. In fried tuna, the losses of EPA and DHA were 70 and 85%, respectively. Thiobarbituric acid — reactive substances values increased in heat processed tuna. Cholesterol increased in canned and microwave heated tuna but not in cooked tuna. Reduction of cholesterol in fried tuna was due to its migration into frying oil. This study indicated that cooking and microwave heating are the better processing methods to retain the health beneficial ω-3 fatty acids in comparison to frying and canning.
Tuna; Katsuwonus pelamis; ω-3 Fatty acids; Thiobarbituric acid; Cholesterol; Thermal processing
N-3 Fatty acids reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Previous studies have shown that they may reduce inflammation, oxidative stress, and fat mass in patients with type 2 diabetes, but the results are inconclusive, due, in part, to type of omega-3 fatty acids used. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of pure eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acids (DHA), the two major omega-3 fatty acids, on inflammation, oxidative stress, and fat mass in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Sixty patients with DM-II were randomly allocated to receive daily either ~1 gr EPA or ~1 gr DHA, or a canola oil as placebo for 12 weeks in a randomized triple-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Serum MDA, CRP, body weight, BMI, and fat mass were measured at baseline and after intervention.
Forty-five patients with a mean (±SD) age of 54.9 ± 8.2 years with BMI of 27.6 ± 4.1 kg/m2 and fasting blood glucose 96.0 ± 16.2 mg/dl completed the intervention. Neither EPA nor DHA had significant effects on serum FBS, C-reactive protein, body weight, BMI, and fat mass after intervention (P > 0.05). In addition, while MDA increased 18% in the placebo group (P = 0.009), it did not change in the EPA or DHA group (P > 0.05).
Twelve weeks of supplementation with 1gr/d EPA or DHA prevent increasing oxidative stress without changing marker of inflammation. This study is the first report demonstrating that neither EPA nor DHA have effects on body fat mass in type 2 diabetic patients.
Inflammation; omega 3 fatty acids; oxidative stress; type 2 diabetes mellitus
Metabolic syndrome is implicated in the decline of cognitive ability. We investigated whether the prescription n-3 fatty acid administration improves cognitive learning ability in SHR.Cg-Leprcp/NDmcr (SHR-cp) rats, a metabolic syndrome model, in comparison with administration of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, C20:5, n-3) alone. Administration of TAK-085 [highly purified and concentrated n-3 fatty acid formulation containing EPA ethyl ester and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, C22:6, n-3) ethyl ester] at 300 mg/kg body weight per day for 13 weeks reduced the number of reference memory-related errors in SHR-cp rats, but EPA alone had no effect, suggesting that long-term TAK-085 administration improves cognitive learning ability in a rat model of metabolic syndrome. However, the working memory-related errors were not affected in either of the rat groups. TAK-085 and EPA administration increased plasma EPA and DHA levels of SHR-cp rats, associating with an increase in EPA and DHA in the cerebral cortex. The TAK-085 administration decreased the lipid peroxide levels and reactive oxygen species in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus of SHR-cp rats, suggesting that TAK-085 increases antioxidative defenses. Its administration also increased the brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels in the cortical and hippocampal tissues of TAK-085-administered rats. The present study suggests that long-term TAK-085 administration is a possible therapeutic strategy for protecting against metabolic syndrome-induced learning decline.
Metabolic syndrome; Memory; BDNF; Docosahexaenoic acid; Eicosapentaenoic acid
n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, namely docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and can ameliorate many of obesity-associated disorders. We hypothesised that the latter effect will be more pronounced when DHA/EPA is supplemented as phospholipids rather than as triglycerides.
In a ‘prevention study’, C57BL/6J mice were fed for 9 weeks on either a corn oil-based high-fat obesogenic diet (cHF; lipids ∼35% wt/wt), or cHF-based diets in which corn oil was partially replaced by DHA/EPA, admixed either as phospholipids or triglycerides from marine fish. The reversal of obesity was studied in mice subjected to the preceding cHF-feeding for 4 months. DHA/EPA administered as phospholipids prevented glucose intolerance and tended to reduce obesity better than triglycerides. Lipemia and hepatosteatosis were suppressed more in response to dietary phospholipids, in correlation with better bioavailability of DHA and EPA, and a higher DHA accumulation in the liver, white adipose tissue (WAT), and muscle phospholipids. In dietary obese mice, both DHA/EPA concentrates prevented a further weight gain, reduced plasma lipid levels to a similar extent, and tended to improve glucose tolerance. Importantly, only the phospholipid form reduced plasma insulin and adipocyte hypertrophy, while being more effective in reducing hepatic steatosis and low-grade inflammation of WAT. These beneficial effects were correlated with changes of endocannabinoid metabolome in WAT, where phospholipids reduced 2-arachidonoylglycerol, and were more effective in increasing anti-inflammatory lipids such as N-docosahexaenoylethanolamine.
Compared with triglycerides, dietary DHA/EPA administered as phospholipids are superior in preserving a healthy metabolic profile under obesogenic conditions, possibly reflecting better bioavalability and improved modulation of the endocannabinoid system activity in WAT.
The molecular pathways by which long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) influence skeletal health remain elusive. Both LCPUFA and parathyroid hormone type 1 receptor (PTH1R) are known to be involved in bone metabolism while any direct link between the two is yet to be established. Here we report that LCPUFA are capable of direct, PTH1R dependent activation of extracellular ligand-regulated kinases (ERK). From a wide range of fatty acids studied, varying in chain length, saturation, and position of double bonds, eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic fatty acids (DHA) caused the highest ERK phosphorylation. Moreover, EPA potentiated the effect of parathyroid hormone (PTH(1–34)) in a superagonistic manner. EPA or DHA dependent ERK phosphorylation was inhibited by the PTH1R antagonist and by knockdown of PTH1R. Inhibition of PTH1R downstream signaling molecules, protein kinases A (PKA) and C (PKC), reduced EPA and DHA dependent ERK phosphorylation indicating that fatty acids predominantly activate G-protein pathway and not the β-arrestin pathway. Using picosecond time-resolved fluorescence microscopy and a genetically engineered PTH1R sensor (PTH-CC), we detected conformational responses to EPA similar to those caused by PTH(1–34). PTH1R antagonist blocked the EPA induced conformational response of the PTH-CC. Competitive binding studies using fluorescence anisotropy technique showed that EPA and DHA competitively bind to and alter the affinity of PTH1 receptor to PTH(1–34) leading to a superagonistic response. Finally, we showed that EPA stimulates protein kinase B (Akt) phosphorylation in a PTH1R-dependent manner and affects the osteoblast survival pathway, by inhibiting glucocorticoid-induced cell death. Our findings demonstrate for the first time that LCPUFAs, EPA and DHA, can activate PTH1R receptor at nanomolar concentrations and consequently provide a putative molecular mechanism for the action of fatty acids in bone.
A number of polyunsaturated fatty acids have been shown to inhibit the growth of malignant cells in vitro. To investigate whether fatty acids modify the growth of human pancreatic cancer, lauric, stearic, palmitic, oleic, linoleic, alpha-linolenic, gamma-linolenic, arachidonic, docosahexaenoic and eicosapentaenoic (EPA) acids were each incubated with the cells lines MIA PaCa-2, PANC-1 and CFPAC at concentrations ranging from 1.25 microM to 50 microM and the effect of each fatty acid on cell growth was examined. All the polyunsaturated fatty acids tested had an inhibitory effect, with EPA being the most potent (ID50 2.5-5 microM). Monounsaturated or saturated fatty acids were not inhibitory. The action of EPA could be reversed with the anti-oxidant vitamin E acetate or with oleic acid. The cyclo-oxygenase inhibitors indomethacin and piroxicam had no effect on the action of EPA. The action of EPA appeared to be associated with the generation of lipid peroxides, although the level of lipid peroxidation did not always appear to correlate directly with the extent of cell death. The ability of certain fatty acids to inhibit significantly the growth of three human pancreatic cancer cell lines in vitro at concentrations which could be achieved in vivo suggests that administration of such fatty acids may be of therapeutic benefit in patients with pancreatic cancer.
Although it is believed that fish ω-3 fatty acids may decrease breast cancer risk, epidemiological evidence has been inconclusive. This study examined the association between fish and fish ω-3 fatty acids intake with the risk of breast cancer in a case-control study of Korean women.
We recruited 358 incident breast cancer patients and 360 controls with no history of malignant neoplasm from the National Cancer Center Hospital between July 2007 and April 2008. The study participants were given a 103-item food intake frequency questionnaire to determine their dietary consumption of fish (fatty and lean fish) and ω-3 fatty acids derived from fish (eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)).
Using a multivariate logistic regression model, high intake of fatty fish was associated with a reduced risk for breast cancer in both pre- and postmenopausal women (OR [95% CI] for highest vs. lowest intake quartiles, p for trend: 0.19 [0.08 to 0.45], p < 0.001 for premenopausal women, 0.27 [0.11 to 0.66], p = 0.005 for postmenopausal women). Similarly, reductions in breast cancer risk were observed among postmenopausal subjects who consumed more than 0.101 g of EPA (OR [95% CI]: 0.38 [0.15 to 0.96]) and 0.213 g of DHA (OR [95% CI]: 0.32 [0.13 to 0.82]) from fish per day compared to the reference group who consumed less than 0.014 g of EPA and 0.037 g of DHA per day. Among premenopausal women, there was a significant reduction in breast cancer risk for the highest intake quartiles of ω-3 fatty acids (ORs [95% CI]: 0.46 [0.22 to 0.96]), compared to the reference group who consumed the lowest quartile of intake.
These results suggest that high consumption of fatty fish is associated with a reduced risk for breast cancer, and that the intake of ω-3 fatty acids from fish is inversely associated with postmenopausal breast cancer risk.
While cardiovascular and mood benefits of dietary omega-3 fatty acids such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are manifest, direct neurophysiological evidence of their effects on cortical activity is still limited. Hence we chose to examine the effects of two proprietary fish oil products with different EPA∶DHA ratios (EPA-rich, high EPA∶DHA; DHA-rich) on mental processing speed and visual evoked brain activity. We proposed that nonlinear multifocal visual evoked potentials (mfVEP) would be sensitive to any alteration of the neural function induced by omega-3 fatty acid supplementation, because the higher order kernel responses directly measure the degree of recovery of the neural system as a function of time following stimulation. Twenty-two healthy participants aged 18–34, with no known neurological or psychiatric disorder and not currently taking any nutritional supplementation, were recruited. A double-blind, crossover design was utilized, including a 30-day washout period, between two 30-day supplementation periods of the EPA-rich and DHA-rich diets (with order of diet randomized). Psychophysical choice reaction times and multi-focal nonlinear visual evoked potential (VEP) testing were performed at baseline (No Diet), and after each supplementation period. Following the EPA-rich supplementation, for stimulation at high luminance contrast, a significant reduction in the amplitude of the first slice of the second order VEP kernel response, previously related to activation in the magnocellular pathway, was observed. The correlations between the amplitude changes of short latency second and first order components were significantly different for the two supplementations. Significantly faster choice reaction times were observed psychophysically (compared with baseline performance) under the EPA-rich (but not DHA-rich) supplementation, while simple reaction times were not affected. The reduced nonlinearities observed under the EPA-rich diet suggest a mechanism involving more efficient neural recovery of magnocellular-like visual responses following cortical activation.
The intake of the n-3 fatty acids alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) has been related to testosterone levels in epidemiological analyses. The aim of this study was to assess whether the n-3 fatty acids affects testosterone levels in post-myocardial infarction (MI) patients, who are at risk of testosterone deficiency. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of low-dose supplementation of n-3 fatty acids, we included 1850 male post-MI patients aged 60–80 y who participated in the Alpha Omega Trial. Patients were randomly allocated to margarines that provided 400 mg/d of EPA–DHA (n=453), 2 g/d of ALA (n=467), EPA–DHA plus ALA (n=458), or placebo (n=472). Serum testosterone levels were assessed at baseline and after 41 months using whole day blood samples obtained at the subjects' home or at the hospital. Subjects were on average age of 68.4 (SD 5.3) years old and had baseline mean serum total testosterone of 14.8 (SD 5.6) nmol/L. The four randomized groups did not differ for baseline characteristics. ALA, EPA–DHA, and EPA–DHA plus ALA supplementation did not affect serum total testosterone compared to placebo. Moreover, n-3 fatty acid supplementation did not affect the risk of incident testosterone deficiency (n=76 with total testosterone <8.0 nmol/L). We conclude that n-3 fatty acids supplementation did not affect serum total testosterone in men who had had a MI.
n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids; alpha-linolenic acid; eicosapentaenoic acid; docosahexaenoic acid; testosterone
Higher intake of monounsaturated fat may raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol without raising low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. We tested whether increasing the monounsaturated fat content of a diet proven effective for lowering LDL cholesterol (dietary portfolio) also modified other risk factors for cardiovascular disease, specifically by increasing HDL cholesterol, lowering serum triglyceride and further reducing the ratio of total to HDL cholesterol.
Twenty-four patients with hyperlipidemia consumed a therapeutic diet very low in saturated fat for one month and were then randomly assigned to a dietary portfolio low or high in monounsaturated fatty acid for another month. We supplied participants’ food for the two-month period. Calorie intake was based on Harris–Benedict estimates for energy requirements.
For patients who consumed the dietary portfolio high in monounsaturated fat, HDL cholesterol rose, whereas for those consuming the dietary portfolio low in monounsaturated fat, HDL cholesterol did not change. The 12.5% treatment difference was significant (0.12 mmol/L, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.05 to 0.21, p = 0.003). The ratio of total to HDL cholesterol was reduced by 6.5% with the diet high in monounsaturated fat relative to the diet low in monounsaturated fat (−0.28, 95% CI −0.59 to −0.04, p = 0.025). Patients consuming the diet high in monounsaturated fat also had significantly higher concentrations of apolipoprotein AI, and their C-reactive protein was significantly lower. No treatment differences were seen for triglycerides, other lipids or body weight, and mean weight loss was similar for the diets high in monounsaturated fat (−0.8 kg) and low in monounsaturated fat (−1.2 kg).
Monounsaturated fat increased the effectiveness of a cholesterol-lowering dietary portfolio, despite statin-like reductions in LDL cholesterol. The potential benefits for cardiovascular risk were achieved through increases in HDL cholesterol, further reductions in the ratio of total to HDL cholesterol and reductions in C-reactive protein. (ClinicalTrials.gov trial register no. NCT00430430.)
Supplementation with eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) from fish oil may prevent development of heart failure through alterations in cardiac phospholipids that favorably impact inflammation and energy metabolism. A high-fat diet may block these effects in chronically stressed myocardium. Pathological left ventricle (LV) hypertrophy was generated by subjecting rats to pressure overload by constriction of the abdominal aorta. Animals were fed: (1) standard diet (10% of energy from fat), (2) standard diet with EPA+DHA (2.3% of energy intake as EPA+DHA), (3) high fat (60% fat); or (4) high fat with EPA+DHA. Pressure overload increased LV mass by ≈40% in both standard and high-fat diets without fish oil. Supplementation with fish oil increased their incorporation into cardiac phospholipids, and decreased the proinflammatory fatty acid arachidonic acid and urine thromboxane B2 with both the standard and high-fat diet. Linoleic acid and tetralinoloyl cardiolipin (an essential mitochondrial phospholipid) were decreased with pressure overload on standard diet, which was prevented by fish oil. Animals fed high-fat diet had decreased linoleic acid and tetralinoloyl cardiolipin regardless of fish oil supplemention. Fish oil limited LV hypertrophy on the standard diet, and prevented upregulation of fetal genes associated with heart failure (myosin heavy chain-β and atrial natriuetic factor). These beneficial effects of fish oil were absent in animals on the high-fat diet. In conclusion, whereas treatment with EPA+DHA prevented tetralinoloyl cardiolipin depletion, LV hypertrophy, and abnormal genes expression with pressure overload, these effects were absent with a high-fat diet.
Omega-3 fatty acids; cardiac hypertrophy; heart failure; cardiolipin; phospolipids
Experimental studies suggest that the risk of prostate cancer is reduced with the intake of long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids derived from marine foods, such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). However, few human studies have been conducted due to difficulties in assessing the dietary intake of these fatty acids. The authors examined the relationship between prostate cancer risk and EPA and DHA in erythrocyte biomarkers in a population-based case–control study in Auckland, New Zealand during 1996–1997 involving 317 prostate cancer cases and 480 age-matched community controls. Reduced prostate cancer risk was associated with high erythrocyte phosphatidylcholine levels of EPA (multivariate relative risk = 0.59; 95% confidence interval 0.37–0.95, upper vs lowest quartile) and DHA (multivariate relative risk = 0.62; 95% confidence interval 0.39–0.98, upper vs lowest quartile). These analyses support evidence from in vitro experiments for a reduced risk of prostate cancer associated with dietary fish oils, possibly acting via inhibition of arachidonic acid-derived eicosanoid biosynthesis. © 1999 Cancer Research Campaign
prostatic neoplasms; diet; biomarker; eicosapentaenoic acid; docosahexaenoic acid
B10.RIII and B10.G mice were transferred from a diet of laboratory rodent chow to a standard diet in which all the fat (5% by weight) was supplied as either fish oil (17% eicosapentaenoic acid [EPA], 12% docosahexaenoic acid [DHA], 0% arachidonic acid [AA], and 2% linoleic acid) or corn oil (0% EPA, 0% DHA, 0% AA, and 65% linoleic acid). The fatty acid composition of the macrophage phospholipids from mice on the chow diet was similar to that of mice on a corn oil diet. Mice fed the fish oil diet for only 1 wk showed substantial increases in macrophage phospholipid levels of the omega-3 fatty acids (of total fatty acid 4% was EPA, 10% docosapentaenoic acid [DPA], and 10% DHA), and decreases in omega-6 fatty acids (12% was AA, 2% docosatetraenoic acid [DTA], and 4% linoleic acid) compared to corn oil-fed mice (0% EPA, 0% DPA, 6% DHA, 20% AA, 9% DTA, and 8% linoleic acid). After 5 wk this difference between the fish oil-fed and corn oil-fed mice was even more pronounced. Further small changes occurred at 5-9 wk. We studied the prostaglandin (PG) and thromboxane (TX) profile of macrophages prepared from mice fed the two diets just before being immunized with collagen. Irrespective of diet, macrophages prepared from female mice and incubated for 24 h had significantly more PG and TX in the medium than similarly prepared macrophages from male mice. The increased percentage of EPA and decreased percentage of AA in the phospholipids of the macrophages prepared from the fish oil-fed mice was reflected in a reduction in the amount of PGE2 and PGI2 in the medium relative to identically incubated macrophages prepared from corn oil-fed mice. When this same fish oil diet was fed to B10.RIII mice for 26 d before immunization with type II collagen, the time of onset of arthritis was increased, and the incidence and severity of arthritis was reduced compared to arthritis induced in corn oil-fed mice. The females, especially those on the fish oil diet, tended to have less arthritis than the males. These alterations in the fatty acid pool available for PG and leukotriene synthesis suggest a pivotal role for the macrophage and PG in the immune and/or inflammatory response to type II collagen.