Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Stroke Burden

Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Nov 7;20(22):5549. doi: 10.3390/ijms20225549.


Stroke is a major leading cause of death and disability worldwide. N-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) including eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid have potent anti-inflammatory effects, reduce platelet aggregation, and regress atherosclerotic plaques. Since the discovery that the Greenland Eskimo population, whose diet is high in marine n-3 PUFAs, have a lower incidence of coronary heart disease than Western populations, numerous epidemiological studies to explore the associations of dietary intakes of fish and n-3 PUFAs with cardiovascular diseases, and large-scale clinical trials to identify the benefits of treatment with n-3 PUFAs have been conducted. In most of these studies the incidence and mortality of stroke were also evaluated mainly as secondary endpoints. Thus, a systematic literature review regarding the association of dietary intake of n-3 PUFAs with stroke in the epidemiological studies and the treatment effects of n-3 PUFAs in the clinical trials was conducted. Moreover, recent experimental studies were also reviewed to explore the molecular mechanisms of the neuroprotective effects of n-3 PUFAs after stroke.

Keywords: docosahexaenoic acid; eicosapentaenoic acid; omega-3 PUFA; stroke.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Cost of Illness
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / economics
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Stroke / drug therapy*
  • Stroke / economics
  • Stroke / mortality*
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3