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Special Issue "Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Health and Disease: New Knowledge"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Bioactives and Nutraceuticals".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2018).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Gabriella Calviello
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of General Pathology, School of Medicine, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Largo F. Vito, 1 – 00168 Rome, Italy
Interests: lipoprotein; cancer; dyslipidemia; inflammation; neurodegenerative diseases; nutrition; omega-3 fatty acids; sarcopenia
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Simona Serini
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of General Pathology, School of Medicine, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Largo F. Vito, 1 – 00168 Rome, Italy
Interests: lipoprotein; cancer; dyslipidemia; inflammation; neurodegenerative diseases; nutrition; omega-3 fatty acids; sarcopenia
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Over the past several decades, the beneficial properties of long chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω-3 PUFA) have become extremely popular among the large population. Usually, nutritionists recommend fish and nuts as dietary sources, and it has become a common practice to take ω-3 PUFA supplements for various accepted health reasons. On this basis, and in order to avoid that they be considered a panacea on a non-scientific basis, there is an urgent need to gather recent scientific knowledge in the field, in order to precisely outline the current documented and specific ω-3 PUFA healthy properties, as well as their possible harmful effects. This Special Issue intends to cover new advances in: (a) ω-3 PUFA effects and mechanisms of action in the areas of cardiovascular health, physiological development of the central nervous system, maintenance of cognitive functions, vision and mental health, as well as aging, immunity, inflammation, metabolism, epigenetics, and cancer; (b) combination of ω-3 PUFA with other preventive or therapeutic agents; (c) genetic or metabolic conditions—and others—that could make individuals more/less sensitive to the ω-3 PUFA effects; and (d) innovative ω-3 PUFA sources and delivery.

Prof. Dr. Gabriella Calviello
Dr. Simona Serini
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Aging
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Delivery
  • Inflammation
  • Nanomaterials
  • Neurologic disorders
  • Omega-3 PUFA
  • Personalized medicine
  • Prevention and therapy

Published Papers (20 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Suppression of Postprandial Blood Glucose Fluctuations by a Low-Carbohydrate, High-Protein, and High-Omega-3 Diet via Inhibition of Gluconeogenesis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(7), 1823; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19071823 - 21 Jun 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
Hyperglycemia significantly contributes to the development and progression of metabolic diseases. Managing postprandial blood glucose fluctuations is of particular importance for patients with hyperglycemia, but safe and effective means of reducing blood glucose levels are still lacking. Five diets with varying macronutrient ratios [...] Read more.
Hyperglycemia significantly contributes to the development and progression of metabolic diseases. Managing postprandial blood glucose fluctuations is of particular importance for patients with hyperglycemia, but safe and effective means of reducing blood glucose levels are still lacking. Five diets with varying macronutrient ratios and omega-3 fatty acid amounts were tested for their blood glucose-lowering effects in male C57BL/6J mice. The diets with potent blood glucose-lowering effects were further investigated for their underlying mechanisms and their beneficial effects on hyperglycemia models. Mice given the low-carbohydrate, high-protein, and high-omega-3 (LCHP+3) diet exhibited a rapid reduction of the blood glucose levels that remained consistently low, regardless of feeding. These effects were associated with reduced amino acid gluconeogenesis, due to the inhibition of hepatic alanine transaminase (ALT). Furthermore, the LCHP+3 intervention was effective in reducing the blood glucose levels in several disease conditions, including type 1 diabetes mellitus, hormone-induced hyperglycemia, and diet-induced metabolic syndrome. Our findings identify the LCHP+3 diet as a potent blood glucose-lowering diet that suppresses postprandial blood glucose fluctuations through the inhibition of gluconeogenesis and may have great clinical utility for the management of metabolic diseases with hyperglycemia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Health and Disease: New Knowledge)
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Open AccessArticle
Dietary Conjugated Linoleic Acid-Enriched Cheeses Influence the Levels of Circulating n-3 Highly Unsaturated Fatty Acids in Humans
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(6), 1730; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19061730 - 11 Jun 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
n-3 highly unsaturated fatty acids (n-3 HUFA) directly and indirectly regulate lipid metabolism, energy balance and the inflammatory response. We investigated changes to the n-3 HUFA score of healthy adults, induced by different types and amounts of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)-enriched (ENCH) cheeses [...] Read more.
n-3 highly unsaturated fatty acids (n-3 HUFA) directly and indirectly regulate lipid metabolism, energy balance and the inflammatory response. We investigated changes to the n-3 HUFA score of healthy adults, induced by different types and amounts of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)-enriched (ENCH) cheeses consumed for different periods of time, compared to dietary fish oil (FO) pills (500 mg, each containing 100 mg of eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids—EPA+DHA) or α-linolenic acid (ALA)-rich linseed oil (4 g, containing 2 g of ALA). A significant increase in the n-3 HUFA score was observed, in a dose-dependent manner, after administration of the FO supplement. In terms of the impact on the n-3 HUFA score, the intake of ENCH cheese (90 g/day) for two or four weeks was equivalent to the administration of one or two FO pills, respectively. Conversely, the linseed oil intake did not significantly impact the n-3 HUFA score. Feeding ENCH cheeses from different sources (bovine, ovine and caprine) for two months improved the n-3 HUFA score by increasing plasma DHA, and the effect was proportional to the CLA content in the cheese. We suggest that the improved n-3 HUFA score resulting from ENCH cheese intake may be attributed to increased peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPAR-α) activity. This study demonstrates that natural ENCH cheese is an alternative nutritional source of n-3 HUFA in humans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Health and Disease: New Knowledge)
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Open AccessArticle
Sea Buckthorn Pomace Supplementation in the Diet of Growing Pigs—Effects on Fatty Acid Metabolism, HPA Activity and Immune Status
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 596; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020596 - 21 Feb 2018
Abstract
There is evidence that sea buckthorn, as a source of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA), possesses health-enhancing properties and may modulate neuroendocrine and immune functions. In the present study, we investigated the effect of sea buckthorn pomace (SBP) supplementation [...] Read more.
There is evidence that sea buckthorn, as a source of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA), possesses health-enhancing properties and may modulate neuroendocrine and immune functions. In the present study, we investigated the effect of sea buckthorn pomace (SBP) supplementation in the diet of growing German Landrace pigs on fatty acids in the blood and hypothalamus, peripheral immune parameters and mRNA expression of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) and glucocorticoid receptor (GR) in the hypothalamus and spleen. Pigs were fed diets supplemented with 12% of dried SBP or 0% SBP (control group) over an intervention period of eight weeks. The fatty acid profiles in blood plasma were significantly affected by SBP supplementation only for C18:2n-6 and n-6/n-3 PUFA ratio compared with the control group. SBP supplementation did not significantly affect the fatty acid concentrations in the hypothalamus. Furthermore, there were no significant differences in mRNA expression of CRH, MR and GR in the hypothalamus or of GR mRNA expression in the spleen. Concerning the immune status, the plasma IgG levels tended to be higher in SBP pigs, whereas the leukocyte distribution, mitogen-stimulated lymphocyte proliferation, and serum IgM levels remained unchanged. In conclusion, the SBP supplementation of the diet only caused moderate effects on fatty acid metabolism, but no significant effects on hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) activity and immunity in growing pigs. It seems that a beneficial effect of dietary n-3 PUFA on health and welfare is more likely to be expected during stressful situations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Health and Disease: New Knowledge)
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Open AccessArticle
Omega-3 PUFA Loaded in Resveratrol-Based Solid Lipid Nanoparticles: Physicochemical Properties and Antineoplastic Activities in Human Colorectal Cancer Cells In Vitro
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 586; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020586 - 16 Feb 2018
Cited by 15
Abstract
New strategies are being investigated to ameliorate the efficacy and reduce the toxicity of the drugs currently used in colorectal cancer (CRC), one of the most common malignancies in the Western world. Data have been accumulated demonstrating that the antineoplastic therapies with either [...] Read more.
New strategies are being investigated to ameliorate the efficacy and reduce the toxicity of the drugs currently used in colorectal cancer (CRC), one of the most common malignancies in the Western world. Data have been accumulated demonstrating that the antineoplastic therapies with either conventional or single-targeted drugs could take advantage from a combined treatment with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-3 PUFA). These nutrients, shown to be safe at the dosage generally used in human trials, are able to modulate molecules involved in colon cancer cell growth and survival. They have also the potential to act against inflammation, which plays a critical role in CRC development, and to increase the anti-cancer immune response. In the present study, omega-3 PUFA were encapsulated in solid lipid nanoparticles (SLN) having a lipid matrix containing resveratrol esterified to stearic acid. Our aim was to increase the efficiency of the incorporation of these fatty acids into the cells and prevent their peroxidation and degradation. The Resveratrol-based SLN were characterized and investigated for their antioxidant activity. It was observed that the encapsulation of omega-3 PUFA into the SLN enhanced significantly their incorporation in human HT-29 CRC cells in vitro, and their growth inhibitory effects in these cancer cells, mainly by reducing cell proliferation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Health and Disease: New Knowledge)
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Open AccessArticle
Long Chain Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Supplementation Protects Against Adriamycin and Cyclophosphamide Chemotherapy-Induced Bone Marrow Damage in Female Rats
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 484; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020484 - 06 Feb 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
Although bone marrow and bone toxicities have been reported in breast cancer survivors, preventative strategies are yet to be developed. Clinical studies suggest consumption of long chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCn3PUFA) can attenuate age-related bone loss, and recent animal studies also revealed [...] Read more.
Although bone marrow and bone toxicities have been reported in breast cancer survivors, preventative strategies are yet to be developed. Clinical studies suggest consumption of long chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCn3PUFA) can attenuate age-related bone loss, and recent animal studies also revealed benefits of LCn3PUFA in alleviating bone marrow and bone toxicities associated with methotrexate chemotherapy. Using a female rat model for one of the most commonly used anthracycline-containing breast cancer chemotherapy regimens (adriamycin + cyclophosphamide) (AC) chemotherapy, this study investigated potential effects of daily LCn3PUFA consumption in preserving bone marrow and bone microenvironment during chemotherapy. AC treatment for four cycles significantly reduced bone marrow cellularity and increased marrow adipocyte contents. It increased trabecular bone separation but no obvious changes in bone volume or bone cell densities. LCn3PUFA supplementation (375 mg/100 g/day) attenuated AC-induced bone marrow cell depletion and marrow adiposity. It also partially attenuated AC-induced increases in trabecular bone separation and the cell sizes and nuclear numbers of osteoclasts formed ex vivo from bone marrow cells isolated from AC-treated rats. This study suggests that LCn3PUFA supplementation may have beneficial effects in preventing bone marrow damage and partially protecting the bone during AC cancer chemotherapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Health and Disease: New Knowledge)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation on Oxylipins in a Routine Clinical Setting
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(1), 180; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19010180 - 08 Jan 2018
Cited by 6
Abstract
Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-6 PUFA) is the predominant polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA), especially in Western diet. A high omega-6/omega-3 ratio in Western diets is implicated in the development of cardiovascular diseases and inflammatory processes. Studies in animal models and in [...] Read more.
Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-6 PUFA) is the predominant polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA), especially in Western diet. A high omega-6/omega-3 ratio in Western diets is implicated in the development of cardiovascular diseases and inflammatory processes. Studies in animal models and in humans have demonstrated beneficial effects of omega-3 PUFA (n-3 PUFA) in a variety of diseases, including cardiac arrhythmias and inflammatory diseases, as well as breast and colon cancer. The molecular mechanisms underlying the effects of n-3 PUFA are still not well understood. Possible mechanisms include competition between n-3 and n-6 PUFAs at the cyclooxygenase (COX) and lipoxygenase (LOX) and cytochrome P450 levels, and subsequent formation of oxylipins with specific anti-inflammatory or anti-arrhythmic effects. In this study, we report the impact of routine long-term treatment with prescription-grade n-3 PUFA (either 840 mg or 1680 mg per day) on blood cell membrane fatty acid composition, as well as plasma oxylipin patterns, in a patient population with severe hyperlipidemia and cardiovascular disease who are on standard lipid-lowering and cardioprotective medications. Lipidomics analyses were performed by LC/ESI-MS/MS. Supplementation led to a dose-dependent increase in n-3 PUFA eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in the blood cell fraction. We also observed a dose-dependent increase in EPA- and DHA-derived epoxy metabolites, whereas the effect of n-3 PUFA supplementation on LOX-dependent EPA- and DHA-derived hydroxy metabolites was less pronounced, with a tendency towards lower metabolites in subjects with higher n-3 PUFA levels. These data thus generally confirm effects of n-3 PUFA supplementation observed previously in healthy individuals. Additionally, they indicate a suppressive effect of high n-3 PUFA supplementation on the formation of LOX metabolites in the context of concomitant aspirin medication. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Health and Disease: New Knowledge)
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Open AccessArticle
High Endogenous Accumulation of ω-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Protect against Ischemia-Reperfusion Renal Injury through AMPK-Mediated Autophagy in Fat-1 Mice
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(10), 2081; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18102081 - 30 Sep 2017
Cited by 6
Abstract
Regulated autophagy is involved in the repair of renal ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI). Fat-1 transgenic mice produce ω3-Polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω3-PUFAs) from ω6-Polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω6-PUFAs) without a dietary ω3-PUFAs supplement, leading to a high accumulation of omega-3 in various tissues. ω3-PUFAs show protective [...] Read more.
Regulated autophagy is involved in the repair of renal ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI). Fat-1 transgenic mice produce ω3-Polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω3-PUFAs) from ω6-Polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω6-PUFAs) without a dietary ω3-PUFAs supplement, leading to a high accumulation of omega-3 in various tissues. ω3-PUFAs show protective effects against various renal injuries and it has recently been reported that ω3-PUFAs regulate autophagy. We assessed whether ω3-PUFAs attenuated IR-induced acute kidney injury (AKI) and evaluated its associated mechanisms. C57Bl/6 background fat-1 mice and wild-type mice (wt) were divided into four groups: wt sham (n = 10), fat-1 sham (n = 10), wt IRI (reperfusion 35 min after clamping both the renal artery and vein; n = 15), and fat-1 IRI (n = 15). Kidneys and blood were harvested 24 h after IRI and renal histological and molecular data were collected. The kidneys of fat-1 mice showed better renal cell survival, renal function, and pathological damage than those of wt mice after IRI. In addition, fat-1 mice showed less oxidative stress and autophagy impairment; greater amounts of microtubule-associated protein 1A/1B-light chain 3 (LC3)-II, Beclin-1, and Atg7; lower amounts of p62; and, higher levels of renal cathepsin D and ATP6E than wt kidneys. They also showed more adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activation, which resulted in the inhibition of phosphorylation of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). Collectively, ω3-PUFAs in fat-1 mice contributed to AMPK mediated autophagy activation, leading to a renoprotective response. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Health and Disease: New Knowledge)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
N-3 Polyunsatured Fatty Acids in Menopausal Transition: A Systematic Review of Depressive and Cognitive Disorders with Accompanying Vasomotor Symptoms
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(7), 1849; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19071849 - 23 Jun 2018
Abstract
Depression is one of the most important health problems worldwide. Women are 2.5 times more likely to experience major depression than men. Evidence suggests that some women might experience an increased risk for developing depression during “windows of vulnerability”, i.e., when exposed to [...] Read more.
Depression is one of the most important health problems worldwide. Women are 2.5 times more likely to experience major depression than men. Evidence suggests that some women might experience an increased risk for developing depression during “windows of vulnerability”, i.e., when exposed to intense hormone fluctuations, such as the menopause transition. Indeed, this period is associated with different symptoms, including vasomotor, depressive, and cognitive symptoms, which have all been shown to worsen as women approach menopause. Even though hormonal therapy represents the most effective treatment, side effects have been reported by several studies. Therefore, an increased number of women might prefer the use of alternative medicine for treating menopausal symptoms. N-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LCPUFAs) are included among these alternative treatments. We here provide a review of studies investigating the effects of n-3 LCPUFAs on hot flashes and depressive and cognitive disorders in menopausal women. The reported results are scattered and heterogeneous. In conclusion, a beneficial role of n-3 LCPUFAs in hot flashes, and depressive and cognitive symptoms related to menopausal transition is still far from conclusive. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Health and Disease: New Knowledge)
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Open AccessReview
The Differential Effects of Eicosapentaenoic Acid and Docosahexaenoic Acid on Cardiometabolic Risk Factors: A Systematic Review
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 532; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020532 - 09 Feb 2018
Cited by 32
Abstract
A large body of evidence supports the cardioprotective effects of the long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). There is increasing interest in the independent effects of EPA and DHA in the modulation of cardiometabolic risk factors. [...] Read more.
A large body of evidence supports the cardioprotective effects of the long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). There is increasing interest in the independent effects of EPA and DHA in the modulation of cardiometabolic risk factors. This systematic review aims to appraise the latest available evidence of the differential effects of EPA and DHA on such risk factors. A systematic literature review was conducted up to May 2017. Randomised controlled trials were included if they met strict eligibility criteria, including EPA or DHA > 2 g/day and purity ≥ 90%. Eighteen identified articles were included, corresponding to six unique studies involving 527 participants. Both EPA and DHA lowered triglyceride concentration, with DHA having a greater triglyceride-lowering effect. Whilst total cholesterol levels were largely unchanged by EPA and DHA, DHA increased high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol concentration, particularly HDL2, and increased low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol concentration and LDL particle size. Both EPA and DHA inhibited platelet activity, whilst DHA improved vascular function and lowered heart rate and blood pressure to a greater extent than EPA. The effects of EPA and DHA on inflammatory markers and glycaemic control were inconclusive; however both lowered oxidative stress. Thus, EPA and DHA appear to have differential effects on cardiometabolic risk factors, but these need to be confirmed by larger clinical studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Health and Disease: New Knowledge)
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Open AccessReview
Update on the Impact of Omega 3 Fatty Acids on Inflammation, Insulin Resistance and Sarcopenia: A Review
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(1), 218; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19010218 - 11 Jan 2018
Cited by 9
Abstract
Elderly and patients affected by chronic diseases face a high risk of muscle loss and impaired physical function. Omega 3 fatty acids (FA) attenuate inflammation and age-associated muscle loss, prevent systemic insulin resistance and improve plasma lipids, potentially impacting on sarcopenia. This paper [...] Read more.
Elderly and patients affected by chronic diseases face a high risk of muscle loss and impaired physical function. Omega 3 fatty acids (FA) attenuate inflammation and age-associated muscle loss, prevent systemic insulin resistance and improve plasma lipids, potentially impacting on sarcopenia. This paper aims to review recent randomized clinical studies assessing the effects a chronic omega 3 FA supplementation on inflammatory and metabolic profile during conditions characterized by sarcopenia (aging, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, chronic renal failure). A comprehensive search of three online databases was performed to identify eligible trials published between 2012 and 2017. A total of 36 studies met inclusion criteria. Omega 3 FA yielded mixed results on plasma triglycerides in the elderly and no effects in renal patients. No changes in systemic insulin resistance were observed. Inflammation markers did not benefit from omega 3 FA in insulin resistant and in renal subjects while decreasing in obese and elderly. Muscle related parameters improved in elderly and in renal patients. In conclusion, in aging- and in chronic disease-associated sarcopenia omega 3 FA are promising independently of associated anabolic stimuli or of anti-inflammatory effects. The evidence for improved glucose metabolism in insulin resistant and in chronic inflammatory states is less solid. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Health and Disease: New Knowledge)
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Open AccessReview
Docosahexaenoic Acid in Combination with Dietary Energy Restriction for Reducing the Risk of Obesity Related Breast Cancer
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(1), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19010028 - 22 Dec 2017
Cited by 2
Abstract
There is strong evidence that obesity poses a significant risk factor for postmenopausal breast cancer. There are multiple mechanisms by which obesity can predispose to breast cancer, prominent among which is the creation of a pro-inflammatory milieu systemically in the visceral and subcutaneous [...] Read more.
There is strong evidence that obesity poses a significant risk factor for postmenopausal breast cancer. There are multiple mechanisms by which obesity can predispose to breast cancer, prominent among which is the creation of a pro-inflammatory milieu systemically in the visceral and subcutaneous tissue, as well as locally in the breast. Although dietary intervention studies have shown in general a favorable effect on biomarkers of breast cancer risk, it is still unclear whether losing excess weight will lower the risk. In this manuscript, we will review the evidence that omega-3 fatty acids, and among them docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in particular, may reduce the risk of obesity related breast cancer primarily because of their pleotropic effects which target many of the systemic and local oncogenic pathways activated by excess weight. We will also review the evidence indicating that intentional weight loss (IWL) induced by dietary energy restriction (DER) will augment the tumor protective effect of DHA because of its complementary mechanisms of action and its ability to reverse the obesity-induced alterations in fatty acid metabolism predisposing to carcinogenesis. We believe that the combination of DER and DHA is a promising safe and effective intervention for reducing obesity-related breast cancer risk which needs to be validated in appropriately designed prospective, randomized clinical trials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Health and Disease: New Knowledge)
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Open AccessReview
ω-3 Long Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids as Sensitizing Agents and Multidrug Resistance Revertants in Cancer Therapy
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2770; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18122770 - 20 Dec 2017
Cited by 4
Abstract
Chemotherapy efficacy is strictly limited by the resistance of cancer cells. The ω-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω-3 LCPUFAs) are considered chemosensitizing agents and revertants of multidrug resistance by pleiotropic, but not still well elucidated, mechanisms. Nowadays, it is accepted that alteration [...] Read more.
Chemotherapy efficacy is strictly limited by the resistance of cancer cells. The ω-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω-3 LCPUFAs) are considered chemosensitizing agents and revertants of multidrug resistance by pleiotropic, but not still well elucidated, mechanisms. Nowadays, it is accepted that alteration in gene expression, modulation of cellular proliferation and differentiation, induction of apoptosis, generation of reactive oxygen species, and lipid peroxidation are involved in ω-3 LCPUFA chemosensitizing effects. A crucial mechanism in the control of cell drug uptake and efflux is related to ω-3 LCPUFA influence on membrane lipid composition. The incorporation of docosahexaenoic acid in the lipid rafts produces significant changes in their physical-chemical properties affecting content and functions of transmembrane proteins, such as growth factors, receptors and ATP-binding cassette transporters. Of note, ω-3 LCPUFAs often alter the lipid compositions more in chemoresistant cells than in chemosensitive cells, suggesting a potential adjuvant role in the treatment of drug resistant cancers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Health and Disease: New Knowledge)
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Open AccessReview
Protective Effects of ω-3 PUFA in Anthracycline-Induced Cardiotoxicity: A Critical Review
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2689; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18122689 - 12 Dec 2017
Abstract
It has been demonstrated that ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω-3 PUFA) may exert a beneficial role as adjuvants in the prevention and treatment of many disorders, including cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Particularly, several in vitro and in vivo preclinical studies have shown the [...] Read more.
It has been demonstrated that ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω-3 PUFA) may exert a beneficial role as adjuvants in the prevention and treatment of many disorders, including cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Particularly, several in vitro and in vivo preclinical studies have shown the antitumor activity of ω-3 PUFA in different kinds of cancers, and several human studies have shown that ω-3 PUFA are able to decrease the risk of a series of cardiovascular diseases. Several mechanisms have been proposed to explain their pleiotropic beneficial effects. ω-3 PUFA have also been shown to prevent harmful side-effects (including cardiotoxicity and heart failure) induced by conventional and innovative anti-cancer drugs in both animals and patients. The available literature regarding the possible protective effects of ω-3 PUFA against anthracycline-induced cardiotoxicity, as well as the mechanisms involved, will be critically discussed herein. The study will analyze the critical role of different levels of ω-3 PUFA intake in determining the results of the combinatory studies with anthracyclines. Suggestions for future research will also be considered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Health and Disease: New Knowledge)
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Open AccessReview
Impact of Omega-3 Fatty Acids on the Gut Microbiota
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2645; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18122645 - 07 Dec 2017
Cited by 43
Abstract
Long-term dietary habits play a crucial role in creating a host-specific gut microbiota community in humans. Despite the many publications about the effects of carbohydrates (prebiotic fibers), the impact of dietary fats, such as omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), on the gut microbiota [...] Read more.
Long-term dietary habits play a crucial role in creating a host-specific gut microbiota community in humans. Despite the many publications about the effects of carbohydrates (prebiotic fibers), the impact of dietary fats, such as omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), on the gut microbiota is less well defined. The few studies completed in adults showed some common changes in the gut microbiota after omega-3 PUFA supplementation. In particular, a decrease in Faecalibacterium, often associated with an increase in the Bacteroidetes and butyrate-producing bacteria belonging to the Lachnospiraceae family, has been observed. Coincidentally, a dysbiosis of these taxa is found in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Omega-3 PUFAs can exert a positive action by reverting the microbiota composition in these diseases, and increase the production of anti-inflammatory compounds, like short-chain fatty acids. In addition, accumulating evidence in animal model studies indicates that the interplay between gut microbiota, omega-3 fatty acids, and immunity helps to maintain the intestinal wall integrity and interacts with host immune cells. Finally, human and animal studies have highlighted the ability of omega-3 PUFAs to influence the gut–brain axis, acting through gut microbiota composition. From these findings, the importance of the omega-3 connection to the microbiota emerges, encouraging further studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Health and Disease: New Knowledge)
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Open AccessReview
The Imbalance between n-6/n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Comprehensive Review and Future Therapeutic Perspectives
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2619; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18122619 - 05 Dec 2017
Cited by 15
Abstract
Eating habits have changed dramatically over the years, leading to an imbalance in the ratio of n-6/n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in favour of n-6 PUFAs, particularly in the Western diet. Meanwhile, the incidence of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is increasing worldwide. Recent [...] Read more.
Eating habits have changed dramatically over the years, leading to an imbalance in the ratio of n-6/n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in favour of n-6 PUFAs, particularly in the Western diet. Meanwhile, the incidence of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is increasing worldwide. Recent epidemiological data indicate the potential beneficial effect of n-3 PUFAs in ulcerative colitis (UC) prevention, whereas consumption of a higher ratio of n-6 PUFAs versus n-3 PUFAs has been associated with an increased UC incidence. The long-chain dietary n-3 PUFAs are the major components of n-3 fish oil and have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties in several chronic inflammatory disorders, being involved in the regulation of immunological and inflammatory responses. Despite experimental evidence implying biological plausibility, clinical data are still controversial, especially in Crohn’s disease. Clinical trials of fish-oil derivatives in IBD have produced mixed results, showing beneficial effects, but failing to demonstrate a clear protective effect in preventing clinical relapse. Such data are insufficient to make a recommendation for the use of n-3 PUFAs in clinical practice. Here, we present the findings of a comprehensive literature search on the role of n-3 PUFAs in IBD development and treatment, and highlight new therapeutic perspectives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Health and Disease: New Knowledge)
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Open AccessReview
The Role of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Developmental Psychopathology: A Systematic Review on Early Psychosis, Autism, and ADHD
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2608; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18122608 - 04 Dec 2017
Cited by 14
Abstract
In this systematic review, we will consider and debate studies that have explored the effects of ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in three major, and somehow related, developmental psychiatric disorders: Autism, Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity disorder and Psychosis. The impact of ω-3 PUFAs [...] Read more.
In this systematic review, we will consider and debate studies that have explored the effects of ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in three major, and somehow related, developmental psychiatric disorders: Autism, Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity disorder and Psychosis. The impact of ω-3 PUFAs on clinical symptoms and, if possible, brain trajectory in children and adolescents suffering from these illnesses will be reviewed and discussed, considering the biological plausibility of the effects of omega-3 fatty acids, together with their potential perspectives in the field. Heterogeneity in study designs will be discussed in the light of differences in results and interpretation of studies carried out so far. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Health and Disease: New Knowledge)
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Determination of the Relative Efficacy of Eicosapentaenoic Acid and Docosahexaenoic Acid for Anti-Cancer Effects in Human Breast Cancer Models
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2607; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18122607 - 04 Dec 2017
Cited by 7
Abstract
Epidemiological studies have associated high fish oil consumption with decreased risk of breast cancer (BC). n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LCPUFA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) found in fish and fish oils exert anti-cancer effects. However, few studies have [...] Read more.
Epidemiological studies have associated high fish oil consumption with decreased risk of breast cancer (BC). n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LCPUFA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) found in fish and fish oils exert anti-cancer effects. However, few studies have examined the relative efficacy of EPA and DHA alone and in mixtures on BC subtypes. This was the objective of the present review, as this research is a necessity for the translation of findings to human health and disease. The literature suggests that DHA has a greater anti-cancer effect in triple negative BC (TNBC). In estrogen positive (ER+) BC, DHA has a greater effect on cell viability, while both fatty acids have similar effects on apoptosis and proliferation. These effects are associated with preferential uptake of DHA into TNBC lipid rafts and EPA in ER+ BC. EPA:DHA mixtures have anti-cancer activity; however, the ratio of EPA:DHA does not predict the relative incorporation of these two fatty acids into membrane lipids as EPA appears to be preferentially incorporated. In summary, DHA and EPA should be considered separately in the context of BC prevention. The elucidation of optimal EPA:DHA ratios will be important for designing targeted n-3 LCPUFA treatments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Health and Disease: New Knowledge)
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Open AccessReview
A Mini-Review on the Effect of Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) on Cerulein-Induced and Hypertriglyceridemic Acute Pancreatitis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(11), 2239; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18112239 - 25 Oct 2017
Cited by 2
Abstract
Acute pancreatitis refers to the sudden inflammation of the pancreas. It is associated with premature activation and release of digestive enzymes into the pancreatic interstitium and systemic circulation, resulting in pancreatic tissue autodigestion and multiple organ dysfunction, as well as with increased cytokine [...] Read more.
Acute pancreatitis refers to the sudden inflammation of the pancreas. It is associated with premature activation and release of digestive enzymes into the pancreatic interstitium and systemic circulation, resulting in pancreatic tissue autodigestion and multiple organ dysfunction, as well as with increased cytokine production, ultimately leading to deleterious local and systemic effects. Although mechanisms involved in pathogenesis of acute pancreatitis have not been completely elucidated, oxidative stress is regarded as a major risk factor. In human acute pancreatitis, lipid peroxide levels in pancreatic tissues increase. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (C22:6n-3), exerts anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects on various cells. Previous studies have shown that DHA activates peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ and induces catalase, which inhibits oxidative stress-mediated inflammatory signaling required for cytokine expression in experimental acute pancreatitis using cerulein. Cerulein, a cholecystokinin analog, induces intra-acinar activation of trypsinogen in the pancreas, which results in human acute pancreatitis-like symptoms. Therefore, DHA supplementation may be beneficial for preventing or inhibiting acute pancreatitis development. Since DHA reduces serum triglyceride levels, addition of DHA to lipid-lowering drugs like statins has been investigated to reduce hypertriglyceridemic acute pancreatitis. However, high DHA concentrations increase cytosolic Ca2+, which activates protein kinase C and may induce hyperlipidemic acute pancreatitis. In this review, effect of DHA on cerulein-induced and hypertriglyceridemic acute pancreatitis has been discussed. The relation of high concentration of DHA to hyperlipidemic acute pancreatitis has been included. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Health and Disease: New Knowledge)
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Open AccessReview
A Critical Review on the Effect of Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) on Cancer Cell Cycle Progression
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(8), 1784; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18081784 - 17 Aug 2017
Cited by 14
Abstract
Globally, there were 14.1 million new cancer diagnoses and 8.2 million cancer deaths in 2012. For many cancers, conventional therapies are limited in their successes and an improved understanding of disease progression is needed in conjunction with exploration of alternative therapies. The long [...] Read more.
Globally, there were 14.1 million new cancer diagnoses and 8.2 million cancer deaths in 2012. For many cancers, conventional therapies are limited in their successes and an improved understanding of disease progression is needed in conjunction with exploration of alternative therapies. The long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), has been shown to enhance many cellular responses that reduce cancer cell viability and decrease proliferation both in vitro and in vivo. A small number of studies suggest that DHA improves chemotherapy outcomes in cancer patients. It is readily incorporated into cancer cell membranes and, as a result there has been considerable research regarding cell membrane initiated events. For example, DHA has been shown to mediate the induction of apoptosis/reduction of proliferation in vitro and in vivo. However, there is limited research into the effect of DHA on cell cycle regulation in cancer cells and the mechanism(s) by which DHA acts are not fully understood. The purpose of the current review is to provide a critical examination of the literature investigating the ability of DHA to stall progression during different cell cycle phases in cancer cells, as well as the consequences that these changes may have on tumour growth, independently and in conjunction with chemotherapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Health and Disease: New Knowledge)
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Enriching Diet with n-3 PUFAs to Help Prevent Cardiovascular Diseases in Healthy Adults: Results from Clinical Trials
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(7), 1552; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18071552 - 18 Jul 2017
Cited by 8
Abstract
Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) are believed to be important for cardiovascular health. Many investigations have been carried out in an attempt to examine the effect of n-3 PUFAs intake, in the form of supplementation or fortified foods, for the management of [...] Read more.
Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) are believed to be important for cardiovascular health. Many investigations have been carried out in an attempt to examine the effect of n-3 PUFAs intake, in the form of supplementation or fortified foods, for the management of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and risk factors for CVD, whereas less is known about the effect on healthy individuals. The present study reviews the available literature in order to examine the relationship between n-3 PUFAs intake, either via supplementation or enriched food, and the prevention of CVD among healthy adults. Interventional clinical trials on subjects aged >18 years old with none of the established risk factors for CVD have been considered for review. n-3 PUFAs supplementation or enriched food may positively regulate triglycerides and some lipoprotein subsets, as well as several vascular and coagulation parameters, even in healthy patients, presenting no risk factors for CVD, suggesting a protective effect. Diet enrichment with omega-3 is likely to be useful in helping to lower the risk of developing CVD in healthy individuals, but still offers no strong evidence of a tangible benefit on a population level. Additional studies are needed to determine the optimal daily intake, especially to prevent the unfavorable effects of PUFAs over-consumption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Health and Disease: New Knowledge)
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