IMR Press / FBL / Volume 10 / Issue 2 / DOI: 10.2741/1601

Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Open Access Article
The role of omega-3 fatty acids in cardiac protection: an overview
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1 Department of Internal Medicine, East Tennessee State University, James Quillen College of Medicine, Johnson City, Tennessee 37614, USA

Academic Editors: Guha Krishnaswamy, David Chi

Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2005, 10(2), 1079–1088; https://doi.org/10.2741/1601
Published: 1 May 2005
Abstract

There have been increasing research efforts in recent years to evaluate the role of various dietary supplements, such as antioxidant vitamins, L-arginine, glucan, isoflavones, soy estrogens, omega-3 fatty acids, etc., in cardiovascular health. Although there is not adequate evidence of the beneficial effects of many nutriceuticals on cardiac function, in the case of omega-3 fatty acids, the evidence has been more convincing. Fish oil has historically been thought to be good for cardiovascular health; however, data have revealed a stronger cardioprotective role of fish oil in recent years. Fish oil and specifically omega-3 fatty acids exhibit cardioprotective effects by mainly improving mortality in coronary artery disease patients. This is achieved through multiple mechanisms with the antiarrhythmic mechanism being the most prominent one. Effects on sodium and calcium channels and heart rate variability are well-accepted mechanisms of how omega-3 fatty acids exercise antiarrhythmic effects. In this review we will address some of the basic science and clinical data regarding omega-3 fatty acids and their direct cardiovascular protective role with details on the proposed mechanisms of this role. We will also address fish pollutants and their significance and finally, the current recommendations about using these fatty acids for cardiovascular protection.

Keywords
Fish oil
Omega-3 fatty acids
Oleic acid
Lenoleic acid
Alpha-lenolenic acid
Arachidonic acid
Eicosapentaenoic acid
Docosahexaenoic acid
Endothelium
Atherogenesis
Coronary artery disease
Diabetes mellitus
Thromboxane A3
Prostaglandin I3
Leukotriene B5
Leukotriene B4
Cardioprotective role
Antiarrhythmic effect
Sodium channels
Calcium channels
Slow and fast-response action potentials
Heart rate variability
Review
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