Importance of n-3 Fatty Acids in Health and Disease.

January 1, 2000 Human Health and Nutrition Data 0 Comments

Importance of n-3 Fatty Acids in Health and Disease.

Year: 2000
Authors: W Connor.
Publication Name: Am. J. Clin. Nutr.
Publication Details: Volume 71; Page 171S.


In this paper, Connor writes the introductory paper to 38 articles in a supplement issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition which documents the importance of n-3 PUFAs in health and disease. Ongoing research on dietary n-3 PUFAs indicates that the essentiality of these nutrients and their favorable effects on many diseases that are common in Western civilization. Evidence for a positive role of n-3 PUFA in several disease states appears firm, but is speculative for other adverse health states. The following is a partial list of diseases in which the data supports a role for n-3 PUFA in helping to prevent or ameliorate the condition. Connor lists these in descending order of the strength of the available evidence: 1. Coronary heart disease and stroke 2. Essential fatty acid deficiency in infancy 3. Autoimmune disorders 4. Crohn’s disease 5. Cancers of the breast, colon and prostate 6. Mild hypertension 7. Rheumatoid arthritis Each of these disease topics and many others are discussed in the articles contained in this supplement. In this article, the author summarizes studies on the cardiovascular effects of EFAs and the essentiality of n-3 fatty acids as components of membrane phospholipids in infancy.

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