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Nutrients 2018, 10(7), 864; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10070864

Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation and Cardiovascular Disease Risk: Glass Half Full or Time to Nail the Coffin Shut?

Midwest Biomedical Research, Center for Metabolic and Cardiovascular Health, Glen Ellyn, IL 60137, USA
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Received: 25 May 2018 / Revised: 27 June 2018 / Accepted: 2 July 2018 / Published: 4 July 2018
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Abstract

There has been a great deal of controversy in recent years about the potential role of dietary supplementation with long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) in the prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Four recent meta-analyses have been published that evaluated randomized, controlled trial (RCT) data from studies that assessed the effects of supplemental n-3 PUFA intake on CVD endpoints. The authors of those reports reached disparate conclusions. This review explores the reasons informed experts have drawn different conclusions from the evidence, and addresses implications for future investigation. Although RCT data accumulated to date have failed to provide unequivocal evidence of CVD risk reduction with n-3 PUFA supplementation, many studies were limited by design issues, including low dosage, no assessment of n-3 status, and absence of a clear biological target or pathophysiologic hypothesis for the intervention. The most promising evidence supports n-3 PUFA supplementation for prevention of cardiac death. Two ongoing trials have enrolled high cardiovascular risk subjects with hypertriglyceridemia and are administering larger dosages of n-3 PUFA than employed in previous RCTs. These are expected to clarify the potential role of long-chain n-3 PUFA supplementation in CVD risk management. View Full-Text
Keywords: omega-3 fatty acids; long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids; cardiovascular disease; meta-analyses; diet recommendations; cardiac death; coronary heart disease; randomized controlled trials; triglycerides omega-3 fatty acids; long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids; cardiovascular disease; meta-analyses; diet recommendations; cardiac death; coronary heart disease; randomized controlled trials; triglycerides
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Maki, K.C.; Dicklin, M.R. Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation and Cardiovascular Disease Risk: Glass Half Full or Time to Nail the Coffin Shut? Nutrients 2018, 10, 864.

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