Dietary (n-3) PUFA reduce inflammation, an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The antiinflammatory effects of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in hypertriglyceridemic men have not been previously reported, to our knowledge, and were the focus of this study. Hypertriglyceridemic men (n = 17 per group) aged 39-66 y, participated in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled parallel study. They received no supplements for the first 8 d and then received either 7.5 g/d DHA oil (3 g DHA/d) or olive oil (placebo) for the last 90 d. Blood samples were collected from fasting men on study days -7, 0, 45, 84, and 91. DHA supplementation for 45 and 91 d decreased the number of circulating neutrophils by 11.7 and 10.5%, respectively (P < 0.05). It did not alter the circulating concentrations of other inflammatory markers tested within 45 d, but at 91 d it reduced (P < 0.05) concentrations of C-reactive protein (CRP) by 15%, interleukin-6 by 23%, and granulocyte monocyte-colony stimulating factor by 21% and DHA increased the concentration of antiinflammatory matrix metalloproteinase-2 by 7%. The number of circulating neutrophils was positively associated with the weight percent (wt %) of 20:4(n-6) in RBC lipids, and negatively to the wt % of 20:5(n-3) and 22:6(n-3).

Concentrations of CRP and serum amyloid A were positively associated with the sum of SFA and negatively with the wt % of 18:1(n-9) and 17:0 in RBC lipids; CRP was also positively associated with the wt % of 20:2(n-6). The mean size of VLDL particles was positively associated with plasma concentrations of neutrophils and CRP.

In conclusion, DHA may lessen the inflammatory response by altering blood lipids and their fatty acid composition.

Keywords: Hypertriglyceridemia, Cardiovascular Disease, Triglycerides, Lipids - DHA, Docosahexaenoic Acid, Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids, Fish Oil

PMID: 19158225

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