Dietary eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid from fish oil. Their incorporation into advanced human atherosclerotic plaques.
The incorporation of fatty acids from dietary fish oil was measured in obstructive atherosclerotic plaques removed from 11 patients fed fish oil, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, for 6-120 days before a planned arterial endarterectomy. The fatty acids of plasma and atheroma were analyzed with special reference to docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20:5), the principal omega-3 fatty acids of fish oil. The omega-3 fatty acid content increased greatly in plasma from 0.9% of fatty acids to 14.8% in cholesteryl esters, from 3.8% to 22.1% in phospholipids, and from 1.3% to 21.9% in triglycerides. The omega-3 fatty acid content of the atherosclerotic plaques was also greater when compared with that of plaques removed from 18 non-fish oil-fed controls. The omega-3 fatty acid in cholesteryl esters of the plaques was 4.9% in the experimental group versus 1.4% in control plaque, in phospholipids it was 8.8% versus 1.8%, and in triglycerides it was 4.7% versus 0.7% (p less than 0.001 for each lipid class). The two major omega-3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA) behaved differently. Compared with their respective plasma levels, relatively more DHA than EPA was deposited into the plaques. Whereas the increase of omega-3 fatty acids in plasma reached a plateau 3 weeks after initiation of fish oil feeding, a linear increase in plaque omega-3 fatty acids continued with time. As a result of the changes in fatty acid composition, the lipid classes of both plasma and plaque had a higher unsaturation index in the fish oil-fed group.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
- Copyright © 1991 by American Heart Association