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Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2004 Mar;7(2):131-6.

Omega-3 fatty acids and cardiovascular disease.

Author information

1
Medical Clinic and Policlinic Innenstadt, University of Munich, Ziemssenstrasse 1, D-80336 Munich, Germany. clemens.vonschacky@med.uni-muenchen.de

Abstract

PURPOSE OF REVIEW:

Omega-3 fatty acids are gaining acceptance in the cardiovascular field. The present review describes the most recent studies and developments in the field.

RECENT FINDINGS:

Marine omega-3 fatty acids, that is eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids, prevent fatal myocardial infarction and sudden cardiac death by their antiarrhythmic effects and presumably also by their effect on infarct size, the latter mediated by plaque stabilization, improvements in endothelial function and other mechanisms. In contrast, a cardioprotective effect of alpha-linolenic acid, a plant-derived omega-3 fatty acid, remains to be clearly demonstrated in adequate intervention trials. Other forms of applications, like parenteral use or other indications, like in the psychiatric field, are currently being actively investigated.

SUMMARY:

Eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids, but not alpha-linolenic acid, prevent sudden death and other cardiovascular catastrophies, and have therefore been recently incorporated into the pertinent guidelines of European and American cardiologic societies.

PMID:
15075702
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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