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Table 6.

Effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acids on Factors Involved in the Pathophysiology of Atherosclerosis and Inflammation.

Factor Function Effect of w-3 fatty acid
Arachidonic acid Eicosanoid precursor, aggregates platelets; stimulates white blooo cells
Thromboxane A2 Platelet aggregation; vasoconstriction; increase of intracellular Ca++
Prostacyclin (PGI2/3) Prevent platelet aggregation; vasodilation; increase cAMP
Leukotriene (LTB4) Neutrophil chemattractant; increase of intracellular Ca++
Fibrinogen A member of the acute phase response; and a blood clotting factor
Tissue pasminogen activator Increase endogenous fibrinolysis
Platelet activating factor (PAF) Activates platelets and white blood cells
Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) Chemoattractant and mitogen for smooth muscles and macrophages
Oxygen free radicals Cellular damage; enhance LDL uptake via scavenger pathway; stimulate arachidonic acid metabolism
Lipid hydroperoxides Stimulate eicosanoid formation
Interleukin 1 and tumor necrosis factor Stimulate neutrophil O2 free radical formation; stimulate lymphocyte proliferation; stimulate PAF; express intercellular adhesion molecule-1 on endothelial cells; inhibit plasminogen activator, thus, procoagulants
Interleukin-6 Stimulates the synthesis of all acute phase proteins involved in the inflammatory response: C-reactive protein; serum amyloid A:, fibrinogen; α1-chymotrypsin; and haptoglobin
C-reactive protein (CRP) An acute phase reactant and an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease
Endothelial-derived relaxation factor Reduces arterial vasoconstrictor response
Insulin function Increases sensitivity to insulin
VLDL Related to LDL and HDL level
HDL Decreases the risk for coronary heart disease
Lp(a) Lipoprotein(a) is a genetically determined protein that has atherogenic and thrombogenic properties
Triglycerides and chylomicrons Contribute to postprandial lipemia

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