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An inverse relationship between plasma omega-3 fatty acids and C-reactive protein in healthy individuals – Source: European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Apr 8, 2009

  [ 70 votes ]   [ 1 Comment ]
By MA Micallef, IA Munro, ML Garg • • April 15, 2009

High sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) is a marker of low-grade sustained inflammation.

Omega-3 (n-3) fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties and are associated with reduced cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk.

The aim of this study was to investigate whether plasma n-3 fatty acid concentration is related to hs-CRP concentration.

A total of 124 free-living adults were divided into tertiles [three groups] of plasma hs-CRP (<1.0, 1.0-3.0 and >3.0 mg/l). Body composition and anthropometric measurements were recorded. Hs-CRP was analyzed using immunoassays and fatty acids were measured by gas chromatography.

Plasma hs-CRP concentration was negatively correlated with total n-3 fatty acids (P=0.05), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA; P=0.002) and docosapentaenoic acid (DPA; P=0.01).

The highest hs-CRP tertile (>3.0 mg/l) had significantly lower concentrations of total n-3 fatty acids, EPA and DPA, when compared with the other tertiles (P<0.05).

This study provides evidence that in healthy individuals, plasma omega-3 fatty acid concentration is inversely related to high sensitivity C-reactive protein concentration, a surrogate marker of cardiovascular disease risk. [Higher omega-3, lower hs-CRP]

Source: European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Apr 8, 2009. PMID: 19352379, by Micallef MA, Munro IA, Garg ML. Nutraceuticals Research Group, School of Biomedical Sciences, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan; Hunter Medical Research Institute, John Hunter Hospital, New Lambton, New South Wales, Australia. [E-mail: ML Garg,]

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Article Comments Post a Comment

What else is different between those with lowest vs higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids?
Posted by: riders
Apr 17, 2009
It is not surprising to learn that those with higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids had lower levels of C-reactive protein. I am curious whether the subjects provided any other information about their health status that would indicate some manifestation of this low-grade inflammation, such as pain, digestive problems, emotional difficulties or subtle signs of heart disease, such as a tendency towards higher blood pressure compared to the other group. Psych doc
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