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Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2003 Sep;285(3):H1294-302. Epub 2003 Jan 9.

Dietary n-3 PUFAs affect the blood pressure rise and cardiac impairments in a hyperinsulinemia rat model in vivo.

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  • 1Lipides Membranaires et Fonctions Cardiovasculaires, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique-UR1154, Faculté de Pharmacie, Université Paris-Sud, 5 rue Jean Baptiste Clément, 92290 Châtenay-Malabry Cedex, France.


The cardiovascular consequences of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)- and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)-specific intake were evaluated in vivo in a hyperinsulinemia (HI) model induced by dietary fructose intake. Wistar rats were fed a diet containing (or not for control) either EPA or DHA. The rise in blood pressure (BP), heart rate, and ECG were continuously monitored using an intra-abdominal telemetry system. The myocardial phospholipid fatty acid profile was significantly affected by DHA intake but less by EPA intake. The data indicated a reduced rise in BP in both DHA and EPA HI groups compared with controls. This result was confirmed by tail-cuff measurement after 5 wk [133.3 +/- 1.67 and 142.5 +/- 1.12 mmHg in n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) and control groups, respectively], whereas n-3 PUFA did not affect BP in non-HI rats (116.3 +/- 3.33 mmHg). The heart rate was lower in the HI DHA group than in the other two dietary HI groups. Moreover, DHA induced a significantly shorter QT interval. It is concluded that the cardioactive component of fish oils is DHA through a mechanism that may involve the cardiac adrenergic system.

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