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Monge A.,National Health Research Institute | Harris W.S.,University of South Dakota | Harris W.S.,OmegaQuant Analytics LLC | Ortiz-Panozo E.,National Health Research Institute | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Nutrition | Year: 2016

Background: Long-chain ω-3 (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) may reduce the risk of atherosclerosis. The association between n-3 PUFAs and cardiovascular disease may vary across different populations, and there is limited information on Hispanic individuals with mixed Amerindian and European origin. Objective: Weevaluated the cross-sectional relations between whole blood n-3 PUFAs and carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) in Mexican women living in Mexico and assessed whether this relation was different in women who spoke an indigenous language compared with women who did not. Methods: In 2012-2013, we assessed the association between blood n-3 PUFAs and IMT in 1306 women free of disease in Chiapas and Yucatan, Mexico. We categorized blood n-3 PUFAs (% of total FAs) in quartiles and adjusted linear regression models by age, indigenous language, site, socioeconomic status, education, smoking, menopause, diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, body mass index, physical activity, and diet. We stratified analyses by indigenous/ nonindigenous language speakers (n = 315 of 991). Results: Whole blood n-3 PUFAs (means ± SDs) were 3.58% 6 0.78% of total FAs. We did not observe a significant association between n-3 PUFAs and IMT in the overall study population. However, the adjusted mean difference of IMT was26.5% (95% CI:210.7%,22.3%; P-trend < 0.0001) for indigenous women in the highest quartile compared with the lowest quartile of blood n-3 PUFAs. In nonindigenous women, we did not observe an association (20.6%; 95% CI: 23.0%, 1.8%, comparing extreme quartiles; P-trend = 1.00). Conclusions: Overall, circulating n-3 PUFAs were not associated with IMT. However, we observed a strong statistically significant inverse association with IMT in indigenous Mexican women. Future studies should evaluate genetic markers that may reflect differences in n-3 PUFA metabolism across populations. © 2016 American Society for Nutrition.

Skulas-Ray A.C.,Pennsylvania State University | Flock M.R.,Pennsylvania State University | Richter C.K.,Pennsylvania State University | Harris W.S.,OmegaQuant Analytics LLC | And 2 more authors.
Nutrients | Year: 2015

The role of the long-chain omega-3 (n-3) fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in lipid metabolism and inflammation has been extensively studied; however, little is known about the relationship between docosapentaenoic acid (DPA, 22:5 n-3) and inflammation and triglycerides (TG). We evaluated whether n-3 DPA content of red blood cells (RBC) was associated with markers of inflammation (interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α), and C-reactive protein (CRP) and fasting TG prior to n-3 supplementation in two studies (Study 1: n = 115, aged 20–44 years, body mass index (BMI) 20–30 kg/m2, TG = 34–176 mg/dL; Study 2: n = 28, aged 22–65 years, BMI 24–37 kg/m2, TG = 141–339 mg/dL). We also characterized the dose-response effects of n-3 fatty acid supplementation on RBC n-3 DPA after five months of supplementation with fish oil (Study 1: 0, 300, 600, 900, and 1800 mg/day EPA + DHA) and eight weeks of prescription n-3 ethyl esters (Study 2: 0, 850, and 3400 mg/day EPA + DHA). In Study 1, RBC n-3 DPA was inversely correlated with CRP (R2 = 36%, p < 0.001) and with fasting TG (r = −0.30, p = 0.001). The latter finding was replicated in Study 2 (r = −0.33, p = 0.04). In both studies, n-3 supplementation significantly increased RBC n-3 DPA dose-dependently. Relative increases were greater for Study 1, with increases of 29%–61% vs. 14%–26% for Study 2. The associations between RBC n-3 DPA, CRP, and fasting TG may have important implications for the prevention of atherosclerosis and chronic inflammatory diseases and warrant further study. © 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Harris W.S.,Health Diagnostic Laboratory | Harris W.S.,OmegaQuant Analytics LLC | Harris W.S.,University of South Dakota
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition | Year: 2014

The long chain n-3 (omega-3) fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), although originally synthesized by microorganisms in the oceans, are primarily obtained from the consumption of fish. Vegetarians, by definition, do not eat fish and thus consume virtually no EPA and DHA. Because conversion of the plant-derived n-3 fatty acid a-linolenic acid (ALA) to EPA and DHA is very low, n-3 tissue concentrations in vegetarians are lower than in omnivores. This review asks 2 questions: what is the evidence that increased n-3 concentrations reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in vegetarians, and, if it does, how can vegetarians increase their blood and tissue concentrations of these animalderived fatty acids? At present, both cardiovascular risk markers and cardiovascular events appear to be significantly reduced in vegetarians compared with those in omnivores. If so, and in the absence of data to show that risk in vegetarians could be even lower with higher n-3 concentrations, then the second question becomes moot. However, the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence; therefore, at our present state of knowledge, increasing n-3 concentrations is not an unreasonable goal for vegetarians. This can be accomplished by a variety of approaches, including increased intakes of ALA, consumption of stearidonic acid-enriched soybean oil (if and when it comes to the market), and the use of supplements containing EPA, DHA, or both derived from nonanimal sources (microalgae, biotech yeast, and, in the future, biotech plant oils). © 2014 American Society for Nutrition.

Wachira J.K.,University of South Dakota | Larson M.K.,Augustana College at Sioux Falls | Harris W.S.,University of South Dakota | Harris W.S.,Health Diagnostic Laboratory | Harris W.S.,OmegaQuant Analytics LLC
British Journal of Nutrition | Year: 2014

n-3 Fatty acids (EPA and DHA, from fish oil) are essential fatty acids that are approved for the treatment of severe hypertriacylglycerolaemia and, in some countries, used for reducing the risk of CVD. Because of their inhibitory effects on platelet function, some practitioners have, perhaps unnecessarily, discontinued their use in patients undergoing invasive procedures or being treated with anti-platelet or anticoagulation drugs. Thus, the aim of the present study was to review the effects of n-3 fatty acids on bleeding complications in a wide variety of clinical settings, and to summarise their biochemical mechanism of action in platelet function and coagulation. We surveyed recent publications that either directly studied the effects of n-3 fatty acids on the risk of bleeding or focused on different end-points and also reported the effects on bleeding. n-3 Fatty acid treatment had no effect on the risk of clinically significant bleeding in either monotherapy or combination therapy settings. Although originally believed to operate primarily via the cyclo-oxygenase system, these fatty acids have been shown to affect multiple signalling pathways and thrombotic processes beyond simply affecting platelet aggregation. The present overview found no support for discontinuing the use of n-3 fatty acid treatment before invasive procedures or when given in combination with other agents that affect bleeding. On the contrary, the use of these fatty acids in several settings improved clinical outcomes. Copyright © The Authors 2014.

Harris W.S.,University of South Dakota | Harris W.S.,Health Diagnostic Laboratory | Harris W.S.,OmegaQuant Analytics LLC
Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care | Year: 2013

Purpose of Review: Several recent randomized trials and subsequent meta-analyses have questioned the value of n-3 fatty acid supplementation in cardiovascular disease risk reduction. Recent Findings: This report focuses on four clinical trials published between 2010 and 2012 that have failed to show benefits of n-3 fatty acids, and on one meta-analysis from 2012 that used a controversial statistical approach in reaching a conclusion of no effect. Summary: The question of the extent to which n-3 fatty acid supplementation reduces risk for cardiovascular disease remains open. Future studies must be properly powered, use doses of n-3 fatty acids significantly higher than those provided in background diets, focus on patient populations with low n-3 fatty acid tissue levels, treat for longer periods of time, and consider the effects of these agents in the great majority of patients who are not on guideline-directed therapeutic regimens. The strong evidence-base from prospective cohort studies and the ever-deepening understanding of the cellular effects of long-chain n-3 fatty acids together support the need for these nutrients in reducing cardiovascular risk. Short-term findings from randomized controlled trials need to be interpreted in the light of all the evidence. © 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

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