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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(10), 1689; doi:10.3390/ijms17101689

Role of n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Ameliorating the Obesity-Induced Metabolic Syndrome in Animal Models and Humans

1
Department of Animal Science and Technology, National Taiwan University, Taipei 106, Taiwan
2
Institute of Biotechnology, National Taiwan University, Taipei 106, Taiwan
3
Department of Animal Science, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2054, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Vicki Flood and Maurizio Battino
Received: 1 June 2016 / Revised: 5 September 2016 / Accepted: 27 September 2016 / Published: 9 October 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Nutritional Epidemiology)
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Abstract

The incidence of obesity and its comorbidities, such as insulin resistance and type II diabetes, are increasing dramatically, perhaps caused by the change in the fatty acid composition of common human diets. Adipose tissue plays a role as the major energy reservoir in the body. An excess of adipose mass accumulation caused by chronic positive energy balance results in obesity. The n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA), DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) exert numerous beneficial effects to maintain physiological homeostasis. In the current review, the physiology of n-3 PUFA effects in the body is delineated from studies conducted in both human and animal experiments. Although mechanistic studies in human are limited, numerous studies conducted in animals and models in vitro provide potential molecular mechanisms of the effects of these fatty acids. Three aspects of n-3 PUFA in adipocyte regulation are discussed: (1) lipid metabolism, including adipocyte differentiation, lipolysis and lipogenesis; (2) energy expenditure, such as mitochondrial and peroxisomal fatty acid β-oxidation; and (3) inflammation, including adipokines and specialized pro-resolving lipid mediators. Additionally, the mechanisms by which n-3 PUFA regulate gene expression are highlighted. The beneficial effects of n-3 PUFA may help to reduce the incidence of obesity and its comorbidities. View Full-Text
Keywords: n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids; docosahexaenoic acid; eicosapentaenoic acid; lipid metabolism; energy expenditure n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids; docosahexaenoic acid; eicosapentaenoic acid; lipid metabolism; energy expenditure
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MDPI and ACS Style

Huang, C.-W.; Chien, Y.-S.; Chen, Y.-J.; Ajuwon, K.M.; Mersmann, H.M.; Ding, S.-T. Role of n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Ameliorating the Obesity-Induced Metabolic Syndrome in Animal Models and Humans. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17, 1689.

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