Omega-3 polyunsatured fatty acids (ω-3 PUFA) are essential nutrients mainly derived from fish and seafood but present also in vegetables such as nuts and seed-oils. Some epidemiological and clinical studies indicate a protection of ω-3 FA against cardiovascular disease and a favourable effect on cardiovascular risk factors control in adults. The evidences of their effects in children and adolescents are scanty but a possible beneficial role, especially for insulin sensitivity and blood pressure control, has been proposed. In this review we want to focus especially on the evidences, which could justify the assumption of ω-3 in children and adolescents, and to underline the aspects which need further investigation. Mechanisms through which ω-3 FA act are manifolds and still a matter of investigation: beside their interaction with ion channel and their influence on plasma membrane fluidity, probably the main effect is acting as competitor for cytochrome P-450 (CYP) with respect to ω-6 FA. Thus, they can modulate the biosynthesis of eicosanoids and other lipid mediators, which likely exert a protective action. Another suggestive hypothesis is that their beneficial effect is not dependent only on the intake of ω-3 FA, but also on the complex interaction between different nutrients including ω-3 and other FAs with polymorphisms in genes involved in ω-3 FA modulation. This complex interaction has seldom been explored in children and adolescents. Further studies are needed to investigate all these points in order to find a better collocation of ω-3 FA on the available armamentarium for preventive, possibly individualized, medicine.

Beneficial effects of ω-3 PUFA in children on cardiovascular risk factors during childhood and adolescence

BONAFINI, Sara
;
ANTONIAZZI, Franco;MAFFEIS, Claudio;MINUZ, Pietro;FAVA, Cristiano
2015

Abstract

Omega-3 polyunsatured fatty acids (ω-3 PUFA) are essential nutrients mainly derived from fish and seafood but present also in vegetables such as nuts and seed-oils. Some epidemiological and clinical studies indicate a protection of ω-3 FA against cardiovascular disease and a favourable effect on cardiovascular risk factors control in adults. The evidences of their effects in children and adolescents are scanty but a possible beneficial role, especially for insulin sensitivity and blood pressure control, has been proposed. In this review we want to focus especially on the evidences, which could justify the assumption of ω-3 in children and adolescents, and to underline the aspects which need further investigation. Mechanisms through which ω-3 FA act are manifolds and still a matter of investigation: beside their interaction with ion channel and their influence on plasma membrane fluidity, probably the main effect is acting as competitor for cytochrome P-450 (CYP) with respect to ω-6 FA. Thus, they can modulate the biosynthesis of eicosanoids and other lipid mediators, which likely exert a protective action. Another suggestive hypothesis is that their beneficial effect is not dependent only on the intake of ω-3 FA, but also on the complex interaction between different nutrients including ω-3 and other FAs with polymorphisms in genes involved in ω-3 FA modulation. This complex interaction has seldom been explored in children and adolescents. Further studies are needed to investigate all these points in order to find a better collocation of ω-3 FA on the available armamentarium for preventive, possibly individualized, medicine.
Cardiovascular risk factors; Children; Hypertension; Insulin resistance; Obesity; ω-3 PUFA
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/928568
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