How do fish oils affect vascular function?

Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 1995 Feb;22(2):71-81. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1681.1995.tb01959.x.


1. This is a review on the mechanisms by which fish oils affect vascular function and how such changes contribute to their documented cardioprotective effects. 2. Evidence that fish oils depress vascular responses to contractile agents will be examined. It is concluded that this effect of fish oils is mediated predominantly by alterations in prostanoid profile. 3. Effects of fish oils on arterial relaxation are discussed with particular emphasis on endothelium dependent relaxation. It is suggested that the functional impairment of endothelium dependent relaxation documented in a number of cardiovascular disease states can be reversed by dietary fish oils. 4. In addition, possible effects of fish oils on growth factors, inositol trisphosphate and lipid metabolism, the sympathetic nervous system, rheological and membrane properties and inducible nitric oxide are reviewed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholine / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Blood Platelets
  • Blood Vessels / drug effects*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Eicosanoids / biosynthesis
  • Endothelium
  • Fish Oils / pharmacology*
  • Models, Biological
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / drug effects
  • Nitroprusside / pharmacology
  • Prostaglandins
  • Rats


  • Eicosanoids
  • Fish Oils
  • Prostaglandins
  • Nitroprusside
  • Acetylcholine