Interactions between n-3 and n-6 essential fatty acids (EFAs) in the regulation of cardiovascular disorders and inflammation.

Author

Horrobin DF

Date

10/1991

Journal

Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids

Abstract

Much attention has recently been paid to the possible benefits of increasing the intake of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) by consuming fish oil. However, this can have adverse effects such as raising cholesterol levels in patients with hyperlipidaemia and causing a deterioration in glucose tolerance. High doses of EPA given to Westerners also lower levels of dihomogammalinolenic acid (DGLA), a substance with a wide range of desirable cardiovascular and antiinflammatory actions. This lowering of DGLA does not occur in Eskimos who consume large amounts of EPA, indicating that there may be differences in essential fatty acid metabolism between Westerners and Eskimos. Therapeutic strategies are required which raise both EPA and DGLA and which do not raise EPA at the cost of lowering DGLA.