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Revista chilena de nutrición

On-line version ISSN 0717-7518


VALENZUELA B, Rodrigo et al. N-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids and cardiovascular disease. Rev. chil. nutr. [online]. 2014, vol.41, n.3, pp.319-327. ISSN 0717-7518.

ω-3 Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω-3 LCPUFA) of marine origin, such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) present in fatty fish or blue fish, have different beneficial effects on human health especially at the cardiovascular level. From the late observations in the 1960s, basic, clinic and epidemiological evidence have established significant cardio protective effects for these fatty acids in reducing the morbidity and mortality from the disease. The cardiovascular benefits of ω-3 LCPUFA of marine origin are targeted on various inflammatory and metabolic pathways which are regulated by these fatty acids, particularly in the vascular endothelium, the inflammatory response and cardiac cells activity. EPA and DHA are transformed into a variety of eicosanoids and docosanoids which have strong anti-inflammatory actions antagonizing the proinflammatory actions of ω-6 LCPUFA. The different molecular mechanisms by which these fatty acids exert cardio protective effects and the clinical and epidemiological evidence demonstrating the reduction in the morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular diseases are discussed.

Keywords : Cardiovascular disease; ω-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids; eicosapentaenoic acid; docosahexaenoic acid; prevention of cardiovascular diseases.

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