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Supplementation with fish oil affects the association between very long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in serum non-esterified fatty acids and soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1

Berstad, P.; Seljeflot, Iørg.; Veierød, M.B.; Hjerkinn, E.M.; Arnesen, H.; Pedersen, J.I.

Clinical Science 105(1): 13-20

2003


ISSN/ISBN: 0143-5221
PMID: 12589702
DOI: 10.1042/cs20020349
Accession: 003953925

We have investigated the effect of fish oil supplementation on the association between serum non-esterified fatty acid (NEFA) pattern and atherosclerotic activity. We studied correlations between serum non-esterified very long-chain eicosapentaenoic (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (AA) and biochemical markers of endothelial activation before and after 18-months intervention with fish oil supplementation. The fish oil supplementation consisted of 2.4 g of EPA and DHA per day, with corn oil as placebo. Elderly men ( n =171) with high risk for coronary heart disease were divided into four intervention groups in a factorial design: fish oil supplementation ( n =44), dietary intervention ( n =42), fish oil supplementation+dietary intervention ( n =47) or placebo ( n =38). The composition of fasting NEFA was analysed before and after intervention by GLC. Circulating endothelial markers were analysed by ELISA. A statistically significant positive correlation between the change in serum non-esterified DHA and soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (sVCAM-1) was found in the pooled group that received fish oil supplementation ( n =91; Spearman's correlation coefficient r =0.24, P =0.02). No such correlation was found in the pooled group without fish oil supplementation ( n =80). Furthermore, there was a significant negative correlation between the change in serum non-esterified EPA and the relative change in sVCAM-1 in the group that did not receive fish oil supplementation ( r =-0.34, P =0.002). No such correlation was found in the group with fish oil supplementation. We conclude that large increase in serum non-esterified EPA and DHA, which can only be attained by supplementation, might increase inflammation in vascular endothelium. A moderate dietary increase in fish oil intake may, however, have an effect on decreasing inflammatory markers.

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