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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DIET AND BIOMARKERS OF CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH

Location: Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging

Title: Erythrocyte stearidonic acid and other n-3 fatty acids and CHD in the Physicians’ Health Study

Authors
item Matsumoto, Chissa -
item Matthan, Nirupa -
item Lichtenstein, Alice -
item Wilk, Jemma -
item Gaziano, J. Michael -
item Djousse, Luc -

Submitted to: British Journal of Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 6, 2012
Publication Date: October 26, 2012
Citation: Matsumoto, C., Matthan, N., Lichtenstein, A., Wilk, J., Gaziano, J., Djousse, L. 2012. Erythrocyte stearidonic acid and other n-3 fatty acids and CHD in the Physicians’ Health Study. British Journal of Nutrition. 109:2044-2049.

Interpretive Summary: Consumption of at least two meals of fish per week is recommended as part of a heart healthy diet to ensure adequate intake of very long chain marine-based n-3 fatty acids. The most common plant-based n-3 fatty acid, is converted to a more usable form at very low rates. There is also another plant-based n-3 fatty acid present in certain strains of soybeans, which can be more easily converted. While fatty acid-rich soybean oil may be a good alternative to a marine-based source of n-3 fatty acids, it is unclear whether this type of N-3 fatty acid itself is associated with heart disease risk. The present ancillary study examined the association of several types and sources of n-3 fatty acids with the risk of heart disease. A prospective nested case–control study of the Physicians' Health Study was carried out. We randomly selected 1000 pairs of men with heart disease and matched controls. Red blood cell fatty acids were measured. The resulting data did not show an association among red blood cell concentrations of the several types and sources of n-3 fatty acids studied and the risk of heart disease in male physicians.

Technical Abstract: Intake of marine-based n-3 fatty acids (EPA, docosapentaenoic acid and DHA) is recommended to prevent CHD. Stearidonic acid (SDA), a plant-based n-3 fatty acid, is a precursor of EPA and may be more readily converted to EPA than a-linolenic acid (ALA). While transgenic soyabeans might supply SDA at low cost, it is unclear whether SDA is associated with CHD risk. Furthermore, associations of other n-3 fatty acids with CHD risk remain inconsistent. The present ancillary study examined the association of erythrocyte SDA as well as other n-3 fatty acids with the risk of CHD. In a prospective nested case–control study of the Physicians' Health Study, we randomly selected 1000 pairs of incident CHD with matching controls. Erythrocyte fatty acids were measured using GC. We used conditional logistic regression to estimate relative risks. Mean age was 68-7 (sd 8-7) years. In a multivariable model controlling for matching factors and established CHD risk factors, OR for CHD for each standard deviation increase of log-SDA was 1-03 (95 % CI 0-90, 1-18). Corresponding values for log-ALA and log-marine n-3 fatty acids were 1-04 (95 % CI 0-94, 1-16) and 0-97 (95 % CI 0-88, 1-07), respectively. In conclusion, the present data did not show an association among erythrocyte SDA, ALA or marine n-3 fatty acids and the risk of CHD in male physicians.

Last Modified: 4/20/2014
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