Vascular calcification: Omega-3 fatty acids are effective for vascular calcification

Vascular calcification: Omega-3 fatty acids are effective for vascular calcification

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New treatment strategy for the treatment of arterial calcification
Arterial calcifications are a widespread symptom that in the worst case can have consequences such as a heart attack or a stroke. Scientists at the Ludwig Maximillians University in Munich (LMU) have now tested a new treatment approach for atherosclerosis: in which "the body's own healing-promoting processes" are activated. Omega-3 fatty acids play a crucial role in this. The researchers published their results in the journal "Circulation Research".

Vascular calcification occurs when deposits in the inner walls of the vessels lead to chronic inflammation and constrict the vessels, according to the LMU. This hinders or completely blocks blood flow, which can trigger a heart attack or stroke. So far, the treatment, according to the researchers, has mainly been aimed at inhibiting the inflammatory response. However, the research team led by Professor Oliver Söhnlein from the Institute for Prophylaxis and Epidemiology of Circulatory Diseases at the LMU has now developed a completely new treatment approach that aims to activate the body's own healing-promoting processes. The key to this could be omega-3 fatty acids.

Inflammatory response influenced by lipid mediators
According to the scientists, the research results of recent years have shown that not only the development but also the termination of inflammation is an active immune defense process. This “inflammation termination program” is disturbed in atherosclerosis, so that the inflammation becomes chronic, explains Prof. Söhnlein. According to the experts, the course of inflammation is controlled by special signaling molecules (so-called lipid mediators), which are formed from essential fatty acids. "In acute inflammation, inflammatory lipid mediators are initially active" and "to stop the reaction, anti-inflammatory lipid mediators take over the regulation," according to the LMU.

Balance of lipid mediators disturbed in atherosclerosis
In order for the inflammation process to work, both types of lipid mediators must be present in a balanced ratio, the researchers explain. We were able to demonstrate that "this balance is disturbed in atherosclerosis," emphasizes Prof. While the inflammatory reactions are usually stopped after the acute phase by an increasing concentration of the anti-inflammatory lipid mediators, the opposite is the case with atherosclerosis. In atherosclerotic tissue, the required lipid mediators even decrease as inflammation progresses.

Vascular calcification reduced by anti-inflammatory lipid mediators
In the mouse model, the researchers succeeded in “correcting the imbalance and reducing atherosclerosis“ by adding the anti-inflammatory lipid mediators Maresin 1 and Resolvin D2, ”reports Prof. Söhnlein of the study results. Maresin 1 and Resolvin D2 are formed in the body "from essential omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish oil, among other things, which has long been said to have a health-promoting effect," according to the LMU announcement.

Natural processes are activated
According to the researchers, the lipid mediators influence the phagocytes of the immune system, so-called macrophages. These attach to atherosclerotic plaques and can act in different directions. On the one hand, they contribute to the progress of the inflammation when "they overeat in blood lipids and perish themselves (...) but on the other hand they also have an important function in the healing of inflamed tissue", according to the LMU. The macrophages remove dead cells and trigger the proliferation of smooth muscle cells. "The addition of lipid mediators promotes this anti-inflammatory effect, so it directs the activity of the macrophages in a desired direction," emphasizes Prof. Söhnlein.

Omega-3 fatty acids with numerous positive effects
In a next step, further studies must now clarify whether the findings from the mouse model can also be transferred to humans. If the study results are confirmed, this is one more reason to take in increased amounts of omega-3 fatty acid. Earlier studies had shown that omega-3 fatty acids protect against heart attacks, prevent colon cancer and can help prevent Alzheimer's. Overall, omega-3 fatty acids are said to have numerous positive effects on our health. These are contained, for example, in fatty fish, but also in walnuts and chia seeds. (fp)

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Video: #83 Bill Harris,.: Omega-3 fatty acids (June 2022).


  1. Zane

    Between us, in my opinion, this is obvious. I advise you to try

  2. Sadeek

    Specially registered at the forum to tell you a lot for his help in this matter.

  3. Cyneleah

    In my opinion it has already been discussed

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