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Heart. 2013 Feb;99(3):168-74. doi: 10.1136/heartjnl-2012-302924. Epub 2012 Nov 26.

Effect of ω-3 fatty acid supplementation on endothelial function, endogenous fibrinolysis and platelet activation in male cigarette smokers.

Author information

1
Centre for Cardiovascular Sciences, University of Edinburgh, The Chancellor's Building, 49 Little France Crescent, Edinburgh EH16 4SB, UK. jehangirdin@hotmail.com

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The effects of ω-3 fatty acids on endothelial function, fibrinolysis and platelet function are uncertain. We investigated the effects of ω-3 fatty acid supplementation on endothelial vasomotor function, endogenous fibrinolysis, and platelet and monocyte activation in healthy cigarette smokers; a group at increased risk of myocardial infarction.

DESIGN, SETTING, PARTICIPANTS:

Twenty cigarette smokers were recruited into a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial of ω-3 fatty acid supplementation.

INTERVENTION:

ω-3 fatty acid supplements (2 g/day) or placebo for a 6-week period.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Peripheral blood was taken for analysis of platelet and monocyte activation, and forearm blood flow (FBF) was assessed in a subset of 12 smokers during intrabrachial infusions of acetylcholine, substance P and sodium nitroprusside. Stimulated plasma tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) concentrations were measured during substance P infusion.

RESULTS:

All vasodilators caused dose-dependent increases in FBF (p<0.0001). Compared with placebo, ω-3 fatty acid supplementation led to greater endothelium-dependent vasodilatation with acetylcholine and substance P (p=0.0032 and p=0.056). Substance P caused a dose-dependent increase in plasma t-PA concentrations (p<0.0001) that was greater after ω-3 fatty acid supplementation compared with placebo (8.8±2.3 IU ml(-1) vs 3.6±1.1 IU ml(-1); p=0.029). ω-3 fatty acids did not affect platelet-monocyte aggregation, platelet P-selectin or CD40L, or monocyte CD40.

CONCLUSIONS:

We have demonstrated for the first time that ω-3 fatty acids augment acute endothelial t-PA release and improve endothelial vasomotor function in cigarette smokers. Improved endogenous fibrinolysis and endothelial function may represent important mechanisms through which ω-3 fatty acids confer potential cardiovascular benefits.

PMID:
23184014
DOI:
10.1136/heartjnl-2012-302924
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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