Clinical pharmacology of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids: non-lipidic metabolic and hemodynamic effects in human patients

Marangoni F, Poli A.
Atheroscler Suppl. 2013 Aug; 14(2): 230-6.

A high dietary intake of n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids, is associated with a reduced incidence of coronary events. Supplementation with pharmacological doses of the same may improve survival in patients with previous myocardial infarction and established heart failure. Such protective effects may be explained by the action of n-3 PUFA on systemic inflammation, hypertension, endothelial dysfunction, thrombosis, cardiac arrhythmias, heart rate variability and atherosclerotic plaque instability, which are involved in the pathogenesis of these clinical conditions. In this short paper we will review the evidence in support of these pleiotropic effects of n-3 fatty acids.