Novel developments in omega-3 fatty acid-based strategies

Curr Opin Lipidol. 2011 Dec;22(6):437-44. doi: 10.1097/MOL.0b013e32834bd642.

Abstract

Purpose of review: Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) have been attributed with several health benefits, including triglyceride lowering and cardiovascular disease risk reduction. This review focuses on new prescription omega-3 fatty acid products in development and recently published data regarding omega-3 fatty acid effects on arrhythmias, heart failure, and platelet inactivation.

Recent findings: A free fatty acid form of n-3 PUFA was found to produce a four-fold higher area under the plasma n-3 PUFA curve than prescription omega-3-acid ethyl esters in patients on a low-fat diet. Eicosapentaenoic acid ethyl esters reduced triglyceride without significantly elevating LDL cholesterol in patients with severe hypertriglyceridemia and in those with mixed dyslipidemia. Recent investigations of n-3 PUFA effects on ventricular and atrial arrhythmias, including studies in patients with implanted defibrillators, failed to demonstrate a significant benefit. However, increased fatty fish or n-3 PUFA consumption was associated with a lower rate of hospitalization in heart failure patients. A further important finding was potentiation of the antiplatelet response when n-3 PUFAs were added to aspirin + clopidogrel.

Summary: Although n-3 PUFA therapy continues to show promise in the prevention and management of cardiovascular diseases, further research is necessary to more fully elucidate its role in specific disorders.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / drug therapy
  • Biological Availability
  • Coronary Artery Disease / drug therapy
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / adverse effects
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / pharmacokinetics
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / therapeutic use*
  • Heart Failure / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Hypercholesterolemia / chemically induced
  • Hypertriglyceridemia / drug therapy
  • Hypolipidemic Agents / adverse effects
  • Hypolipidemic Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Hypolipidemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic

Substances

  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Hypolipidemic Agents