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      Science behind the cardio-metabolic benefits of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids: biochemical effects vs. clinical outcomes

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          Abstract

          Lower incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in the Greenland Inuit, Northern Canada and Japan has been attributed to their consumption of seafood rich in long chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCn-3PUFA).

          Abstract

          Lower incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in the Greenland Inuit, Northern Canada and Japan has been attributed to their consumption of seafood rich in long chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCn-3PUFA). While a large majority of pre-clinical and intervention trials have demonstrated heart health benefits of LCn-3PUFA, some studies have shown no effects or even negative effects. LCn-3PUFA have been shown to favourably modulate blood lipid levels, particularly a reduction in circulating levels of triglycerides. High density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C) levels are elevated following dietary supplementation with LCn-3PUFA. Although LCn-3PUFA have been shown to increase low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C) levels, the increase is primarily in the large-buoyant particles that are less atherogenic than small-dense LDL particles. The anti-inflammatory effects of LCn-3PUFA have been clearly outlined with inhibition of NFkB mediated cytokine production being the main mechanism. In addition, reduction in adhesion molecules (intercellular adhesion molecule, ICAM and vascular cell adhesion molecule 1, VCAM-1) and leukotriene production have also been demonstrated following LCn-3PUFA supplementation. Anti-aggregatory effects of LCn-3PUFA have been a subject of controversy, however, recent studies showing sex-specific effects on platelet aggregation have helped resolve the effects on hyperactive platelets. Improvements in endothelium function, blood flow and blood pressure after LCn-3PUFA supplementation add to the mechanistic explanation on their cardio-protective effects. Modulation of adipose tissue secretions including pro-inflammatory mediators and adipokines by LCn-3PUFA has re-ignited interest in their cardiovascular health benefits. The aim of this narrative review is to filter out the reasons for possible disparity between cohort, mechanistic, pre-clinical and clinical studies. The focus of the article is to provide possible explanation for the observed controversies surrounding heart health benefits of LCn-3PUFA.

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          The fat-derived hormone adiponectin reverses insulin resistance associated with both lipoatrophy and obesity.

          Adiponectin is an adipocyte-derived hormone. Recent genome-wide scans have mapped a susceptibility locus for type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome to chromosome 3q27, where the gene encoding adiponectin is located. Here we show that decreased expression of adiponectin correlates with insulin resistance in mouse models of altered insulin sensitivity. Adiponectin decreases insulin resistance by decreasing triglyceride content in muscle and liver in obese mice. This effect results from increased expression of molecules involved in both fatty-acid combustion and energy dissipation in muscle. Moreover, insulin resistance in lipoatrophic mice was completely reversed by the combination of physiological doses of adiponectin and leptin, but only partially by either adiponectin or leptin alone. We conclude that decreased adiponectin is implicated in the development of insulin resistance in mouse models of both obesity and lipoatrophy. These data also indicate that the replenishment of adiponectin might provide a novel treatment modality for insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
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            Adipocytes as regulators of energy balance and glucose homeostasis.

            Adipocytes have been studied with increasing intensity as a result of the emergence of obesity as a serious public health problem and the realization that adipose tissue serves as an integrator of various physiological pathways. In particular, their role in calorie storage makes adipocytes well suited to the regulation of energy balance. Adipose tissue also serves as a crucial integrator of glucose homeostasis. Knowledge of adipocyte biology is therefore crucial for understanding the pathophysiological basis of obesity and metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, the rational manipulation of adipose physiology is a promising avenue for therapy of these conditions.
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              Adipose tissue dysfunction in obesity, diabetes, and vascular diseases.

              The classical perception of adipose tissue as a storage place of fatty acids has been replaced over the last years by the notion that adipose tissue has a central role in lipid and glucose metabolism and produces a large number of hormones and cytokines, e.g. tumour necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin-6, adiponectin, leptin, and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1. The increased prevalence of excessive visceral obesity and obesity-related cardiovascular risk factors is closely associated with the rising incidence of cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes mellitus. This clustering of vascular risk factors in (visceral) obesity is often referred to as metabolic syndrome. The close relationship between an increased quantity of visceral fat, metabolic disturbances, including low-grade inflammation, and cardiovascular diseases and the unique anatomical relation to the hepatic portal circulation has led to an intense endeavour to unravel the specific endocrine functions of this visceral fat depot. The objective of this paper is to describe adipose tissue dysfunction, delineate the relation between adipose tissue dysfunction and obesity and to describe how adipose tissue dysfunction is involved in the development of diabetes mellitus type 2 and atherosclerotic vascular diseases. First, normal physiology of adipocytes and adipose tissue will be described.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                FFOUAI
                Food & Function
                Food Funct.
                Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)
                2042-6496
                2042-650X
                2018
                2018
                : 9
                : 7
                : 3576-3596
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Nutraceuticals Research Program
                [2 ]School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy
                [3 ]University of Newcastle
                [4 ]Callaghan
                [5 ]Australia
                Article
                10.1039/C8FO00348C
                © 2018

                http://rsc.li/journals-terms-of-use

                Product
                Self URI (article page): http://xlink.rsc.org/?DOI=C8FO00348C

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