Nutrition, metabolism, and cardiovascular diseases: NMCD
Mortality statistics from the World Health Organization have provided early evidence that diet in the Mediterranean countries has been affecting the health of the respective populations and, in particular, their coronary health. Keys (1) has taken the lead arguing that the traditional Mediterranean diet has beneficial effects on health. Recent studies, capturing the evidence accumulated over the last three decades, have documented that the traditional Mediterranean diet meets several important criteria for a healthy diet.
Recent evidence suggested a protective role of dietary monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) intakes against several chronic diseases and, therefore, an increased human longevity. After a median follow-up of 8.5 years, we investigated the possible role of MUFA, PUFA, and other selected food groups in protecting against all-causes mortality in a population-based, prospective study, conducted in one of the eight centers of the Italian Longitudinal Study on Aging (ILSA), Casamassima, Bari, Italy.
1. Ageing represents a great concern in developed countries because the number of people involved and the pathologies related with it, like atherosclerosis, morbus Parkinson, Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia, cognitive decline, diabetes and cancer. 2. Epidemiological studies suggest that a Mediterranean diet (which is rich in virgin olive oil) decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease. 3.
In 1929 Burr and Burr discovered the essential fatty acids omega-6 and omega-3. Since then, researchers have shown a growing interest in unsaturated essential fatty acids as they form the framework for the organism's cell membranes, particularly the neurones in the brain, are involved in the energy-transformation process, regulate the information flows between cells.
Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to significantly reduce the risk for sudden death caused by cardiac arrhythmias and all-cause mortality in patients with known coronary heart disease. Fatty fish, such as salmon and tuna, and fish oil are rich sources of the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid. Flaxseed, canola oil, and walnuts also are good dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids. In addition to being antiarrhythmic, the omega-3 fatty acids are antithrombotic and anti-inflammatory.
Changes in diet over the past century have markedly altered the consumption of fatty acids. The dramatic increase in the ingestion of saturated and n-6 fatty acids and concomitant decrease in n-3 fatty acids are thought to be a major driver of the increase in the incidence of inflammatory diseases such as asthma, allergy, and atherosclerosis.
The atheroprotective potential of n-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) has not yet been fully determined, even in murine models of atherosclerosis. We tested whether ALA-derived, n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) could offer atheroprotection in a dose-dependent manner. Apolipoprotein B (ApoB)100/100LDLr-/- mice were fed with diets containing two levels of ALA from flaxseed oil for 16 weeks. Fish oil- and cis-monounsaturated-fat-enriched diets were used as positive and negative controls, respectively.
BACKGROUND: Periodontitis is a common, chronic inflammatory disease. Although n-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties, it is unclear whether n-3 fatty acids can treat or prevent periodontitis. METHOD: We studied 9,182 adults aged 20 years and older who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 1999 and 2004. Periodontitis was assessed by dental exam and was defined as >4 mm pocket depth and >3 mm attachment loss in any one tooth. Intake of n-3 fatty acids was assessed by 24-hour dietary recall.
Aging contributes to physiological decline and vulnerability to disease. In the brain, even with minimal neuronal loss, aging increases oxidative damage, inflammation, demyelination, impaired processing, and metabolic deficits, particularly during pathological brain aging. In this review, the possible role of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in the prevention of age-related disruption of brain function is discussed.
The Journals of Gerontology. Series A, Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Fish oil (FO) mediates a number of cardioprotective benefits in patients with cardiovascular disease. In the absence of cardiovascular disease, however, the effects of FO on cardiac structure and function are not clear. In addition, it is not known if an effective dosing strategy for attenuating age-related cardiac dysfunction is also effective at limiting cognitive dysfunction.