Association between plasma omega-3 fatty acids and cardiovascular disease risk factors

Garneau, Véronique; Rudkowska, Iwona; Paradis, Ann-Marie; Godin, Gaston; Julien, Pierre; Pérusse, Louis; Vohl, Marie-Claude
March 2013
Applied Physiology, Nutrition & Metabolism;Mar2013, Vol. 38 Issue 3, p243
Academic Journal
The consumption of omega-3 ( n-3) fatty acids (FA), namely eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), have been linked to reduced cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. The objective of this study was to examine the relation between n-3 FA in plasma phospholipid (PL) levels and CVD risk factors. n-3 FA levels in plasma PL were determined using gas chromatography in 100 obese (body mass index (BMI), ≥30 kg·m−2) and 100 nonobese selected individuals from the Quebec City metropolitan area. The CVD risk factors analysed were BMI, blood pressure, plasma lipids levels, and fasting plasma glucose. Significantly higher levels of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and docosapentaenoic acid (DPA) were observed in obese subjects, whereas significantly higher levels of DHA were observed in nonobese subjects. For CVD risk factors, ALA levels were positively correlated with plasma triglyceride concentrations and negatively associated with diastolic blood pressure. None of the CVD risk factors studied was linked to EPA levels. In addition, DPA was negatively related to high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and positively correlated with the total cholesterol/HDL-C ratio. DHA levels were negatively correlated with BMI, waist circumference, and plasma triglyceride levels, whereas a positive association was observed with HDL-C levels. Total n-3 FA percentages were negatively correlated with BMI. In conclusion, higher DHA percentages in plasma PL are associated with a more favourable CVD risk profile, whereas higher DPA percentages in plasma PL are associated with a more deteriorated CVD risk profile.


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