The Role of Long-Chained Marine N-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Cardiovascular Disease
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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This paper reviews the current evidence regarding long-chained marine omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and cardiovascular disease (CVD), their possible mechanisms of action, and results of clinical trials. Also, primary and secondary prevention trials as studies on antiarrhythmic effects and meta-analyses are summarized. However, the individual bioavailability of n-3 PUFAs along with the highly different study designs and estimations of FAs intake or supplementation dosages in patient populations with different background intake of n-3 PUFAs might be some of the reasons for the inconsistent findings of the studies evaluating the impact of n-3 PUFAs on CVD. The question of an optimum dose of n-3 PUFAs or whether there exists adose-response relation for n-3 PUFA supplementation is widely discussed.Moreover, the difficulties in interpreting meta-analyses are clearly demonstrated by two recently published meta-analyses (Rizos et al. and Delgado Lista et al.), evaluating the efficacy of n-3 PUFAs on CVD, including 12 common studies, but drawing opposite conclusions. We definitely need more large-scale, randomized clinical trials of long duration, also reporting harmful effects of n-3 PUFAs.