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Abstract

The Urgent Need to Re-Think Outside the “Omega-3 Pufas” Box.

Ioannis Zabetakis

Today, there is a growing controversy on the association of intake of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and the onset of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) in humans. Some studies suggest that the consumption of oily fish leads to increased levels of omega-3 PUFAs and thereafter a favourable cardiovascular prognosis. These views have been supported by epidemiological data evaluated by metaanalyses and they have been linked to higher levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Clinically, men who consume oily fish at least once a week had a 50 percent lower incidence of coronary heart disease (CHD) and sudden cardiac death (SCD). Mechanistically, though, we still do not know how omega-3 PUFAs work. Their postulated mechanism in preventing atherosclerosis could be through lowering the levels of triacylglycerol, preventing arrhythmias, decreasing platelet aggregation, or lowering blood pressure [1].