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Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2013 Jan;88(1):49-52. doi: 10.1016/j.plefa.2012.04.001. Epub 2012 Apr 19.

Dose-effect and metabolism of docosahexaenoic acid: pathophysiological relevance in blood platelets.

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Université de Lyon, UMR 1060 INSERM CarMeN, IMBL, INSA-Lyon, France.


Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is known as a major nutrient from marine origin. Considering its beneficial effect in vascular risk prevention, the effect of DHA on blood components, especially platelets, will be reviewed here. Investigating the dose-effect of DHA in humans shows that daily intake lower than one gram/day brings several benefits, such as inhibition of platelet aggregation, resistance of monocytes against apoptosis, and reinforced antioxidant status in platelets and low-density lipoproteins. However, higher daily intake may be less efficient on those parameters, especially by losing the antioxidant effect. On the other hand, a focus on the inhibition of platelet aggregation by lipoxygenase end-products of DHA is made. The easy conversion of DHA by lipoxygenases and the formation of a double lipoxygenation product named protectin DX, reveal an original way for DHA to contribute in platelet inhibition through both the cyclooxygenase inhibition and the antagonism of thromboxane A₂ action.

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