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Omega-3 may protect against DNA damage in vascular cells: Study

Omega-3 may protect against DNA damage in vascular cells: Study

Data from in vitro​ studies published in PLoS ONE​ ​indicated that eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) may promote or upregulate an antioxidant response in human aortic endothelial cells that would protect DNA from the damaging effects of reactive oxygen species (ROS).

“Accumulating evidence suggests that DNA damage plays a pivotal role in the development of atherosclerosis,” ​wrote scientists from Hiroshima University and Fukushima Medical University. “Although [omega-3s] likely possess heterogeneous properties beneficial to cardiovascular health, the effect of EPA and DHA on genome integrity in the context of atherosclerosis has been remained unknown. One of the major findings of this study is that EPA and DHA diminished ROS-induced DNA damage in human aortic endothelial cells.”

“There’s little doubt about the cardioprotective benefits of EPA and DHA”

The study adds to a large body of evidence supporting the potential cardiovascular benefits of omega-3s, first reported in the early 1970s by Dr Jorn Dyerberg and his co-workers in The Lancet​ and The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition​.

To date, the polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) have been linked to a range of cardiovascular benefits, from improving in blood lipid levels to reducing the tendency of thrombosis, and from improving blood pressure and heart rate to reducing the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) and cardiac death.

Commenting on the study’s findings, Harry Rice, PhD, VP of scientific and regulatory affairs for Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3s (GOED), told us: “After literally decades of research on EPA and DHA, there’s little doubt about their cardioprotective benefits. What’s not clear is/are the mechanism(s) of action responsible for the cardioprotective benefits.