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Omega-3 index as a prognosis tool in cardiovascular disease

Fielding, Barbara (2017) Omega-3 index as a prognosis tool in cardiovascular disease Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care.

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Purpose of review In 2004, the ‘omega-3 index’ was described as the sum of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20:5 n-3) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6 n-3) in red blood cells (RBCs) as an index of coronary heart disease mortality. This review outlines new evidence to support the omega-3 index as a tool to inform disease prognosis. Recent findings Recent studies have reported differential metabolism of EPA and DHA. High dose supplementation with EPA and DHA led to increased levels of RBC DHA that were associated with decreased liver fat. EPA and DHA in RBCs were associated with reduced mortality in a prospective study of patients with cardiac disease; the strongest association was with EPA. A diet containing 9.5 g alpha linolenic acid lead to an increase in EPA but not DHA status in middle aged women. Summary: Dietary intake or supplementation studies with n-3 fatty acids should include measurement of n-3 status in a standardised way. The omega-3 index, reflecting EPA and DHA status throughout the body, is convenient and may be appropriate in some cases, but since EPA and DHA assimilate differently in membranes, and have different potency, measurement of individual fatty acid composition in RBCs may be more informative

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Biosciences and Medicine
Authors :
Date : 12 June 2017
DOI : 10.1097/MCO.0000000000000404
Copyright Disclaimer : Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved. This is a non-final version of an article to be published in final form in Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care.
Uncontrolled Keywords : Biomarker; EPA; DHA; n-3 fatty acids; Nutrition
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 09 Jun 2017 07:35
Last Modified : 16 Jan 2019 18:53

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