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Diet Rich In Omega-3 Fatty Acids Lowers Risk Of Arterial Inflammation, Atherosclerosis

October 8, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Scientists at Columbia University working in  mice have found that a diet high in saturated fat increases the levels of an enzyme that has been linked to inflammation and hardening of the arteries. The enzyme, endothelial lipase (EL), plays a role in the metabolism of blood lipoproteins. For the study, mouse models of atherosclerosis were fed a diet enriched with either the saturated fat palmitic acid or a polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acid found in fish oil and other foods. After three weeks, the aortas of the mice fed saturated fat showed a significant increase in EL, as well as inflammation. Mice fed omega-3 fatty acids showed less EL and more beneficial changes in inflammation.
U. J. Jung et al., " Fatty Acids Regulate Endothelial Lipase and Inflammatory Markers in Macrophages and in Mouse Aorta", Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, October 08, 2012, © American Heart Association, Inc.
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