Effect of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation on central arterial stiffness and arterial wave reflections in young and older healthy adults

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Abstract

© 2015 The Authors. Increased central arterial stiffness and enhanced arterial wave reflections may contribute to increased risk of cardiovascular disease development with advancing age. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3) ingestion may reduce cardiovascular risk via favorable effects exerted on arterial structure and function. We determined the effects of n-3 supplementation (4 g/day for 12 weeks) on important measures of central arterial stiffness (carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity; PWV) and arterial wave reflection (central augmentation index) in young (n = 12; 25 ± 1-year-old, mean ± SE) and older (n = 12; 66 ± 2) healthy adults. We hypothesized that n-3 supplementation would decrease carotid-femoral PWV and central augmentation index in older adults. Our results indicate that carotid-femoral PWV and central augmentation index were greater in older (988 ± 65 cm/sec and 33 ± 2%) than in young adults (656 ± 16 cm/sec and 3 ± 4%: both P < 0.05 compared to older) before the intervention (Pre). N-3 supplementation decreased carotid-femoral PWV in older (Δ-9 ± 2% Precompared to Post; P < 0.05), but not young adults (Δ2 ± 3%). Central augmentation index was unchanged by n-3 supplementation in young (3 ± 4 vs. 0 ± 4% for Pre and Post, respectively) and older adults (33 ± 2 vs. 35 ± 3%). Arterial blood pressure at rest, although increased with age, was not altered by n-3 supplementation in young or older adults. Collectively, these data indicate that 12 weeks of daily n-3 supplementation decreases an important measure of central arterial stiffness (carotidfemoral PWV) in older, but not young healthy adults. The mechanism underlying decreased central arterial stiffness with n-3 supplementation is unknown, but appears to be independent of effects on arterial blood pressure or arterial wave reflections.

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Monahan, K. D., Feehan, R. P., Blaha, C., & McLaughlin, D. J. (2015). Effect of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation on central arterial stiffness and arterial wave reflections in young and older healthy adults. Physiological Reports, 3(6). https://doi.org/10.14814/phy2.12438

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