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This paper summarizes information regarding omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). At least two servings of fatty fish per week are recommended for patients without clinical atherosclerotic disease. If this cannot be achieved, dietary supplementation with fish oil may be reasonable. PUFA capsules have a role in treatment of hypertriglyceridemia and prevention of cardiovascular events. PUFAs may decrease inflammation, improve plaque composition and stability, and affect cell membranes. According to recent trial data, prescription eicosapentaenoic acid ethyl ester may reduce cardiovascular events.
Key clinical trial data on PUFAs are presented in this review.
This abstract is available on the publisher's site.
Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are a key component of a heart-healthy diet. For patients without clinical atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, 2 or more servings of fatty fish per week is recommended to obtain adequate intake of omega-3 PUFAs. If this not possible, dietary supplementation with an appropriate fish oil may be reasonable. Supplementation with omega-3 PUFA capsules serves 2 distinct but overlapping roles: treatment of hypertriglyceridemia and prevention of cardiovascular events. Marine-derived omega-3 PUFAs reduce triglycerides and have pleiotropic effects including decreasing inflammation, improving plaque composition and stability, and altering cellular membranes. Clinical trial data have shown inconsistent results with omega-3 PUFAs improving cardiovascular outcomes. In this paper, the authors provide an overview of PUFAs and a summary of key clinical trial data. Recent trial data suggest the use of prescription eicosapentaenoic acid ethyl ester for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease event reduction in selected populations.