Factors influencing EPA+DHA levels in red blood cells in Japan

Section of Clinical Application, Department of Clinical Sciences, Institute of Natural Medicine, University of Toyama, Toyama 930-0194, Japan.
In vivo (Athens, Greece) (Impact Factor: 0.97). 01/2008; 22(1):131-5.
Source: PubMed


The blood eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acid (EPA+DHA) concentration is an important inverse risk factor for sudden cardiac death. However, it is not known what kinds of factors influence the EPA+DHA levels in the total phospholipid fraction in red blood cells (RBC EPA+DHA) in Japan, who regularly eat more fish with increasing age. Four hundred and fifty-six healthy individuals (320 men and 136 women, 18 to 70 years old) were recruited between 2002 and 2005. RBC EPA+DHA were measured by gas chromatography and questionnaires were administered. Multivariate analysis indicated that there were significant correlations between RBC EPA+DHA and (i) dietary EPA+DHA (beta=0.31), (ii) age (beta=0.33), (iii) gender (beta=-0.15) and (iv) physical activity (beta=-0.11) but not with body mass index or smoking.

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    • "The majority of SZ patients (72%) exhibited erythrocyte EPA + DHA levels ≤4.0% compared with 37% of controls (Chi-square, P = 0.001) (Figure 3(a)), indicating a 2-fold greater number of SZ patients exhibit an erythrocyte EPA + DHA level of ≤4.0% compared with controls. A comparison of the omega-3 index in adult SZ patients residing in the USA, adult US patients with acute coronary syndromes (ACS, n = 768, from [26]), healthy adults (HA) residing in the USA (n = 163, from [23]), and healthy adults residing in Japan (n = 456; from [24]) is presented in Figure 3 "
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    ABSTRACT: Deficiency in long-chain omega-3 (LCn - 3) fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20:5n - 3) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6n - 3), has been implicated in the pathoetiology of cardiovascular disease, a primary cause of excess premature mortality in patients with schizophrenia (SZ). In the present study, we determined erythrocyte EPA + DHA levels in adult medication-free patients SZ (n = 20) and age-matched healthy controls (n = 24). Erythrocyte EPA + DHA composition exhibited by SZ patients (3.5%) was significantly lower than healthy controls (4.5%, -22%, P = 0.007). The majority of SZ patients (72%) exhibited EPA+DHA levels ≤4.0% compared with 37% of controls (Chi-square, P = 0.001). In contrast, the omega-6 fatty acid arachidonic acid (AA, 20:4n - 6) (+9%, P = 0.02) and the AA:EPA + DHA ratio (+28%, P = 0.0004) were significantly greater in SZ patients. Linoleic acid (18:2n - 6) was significantly lower (-12%, P = 0.009) and the erythrocyte 20:3/18:2 ratio (an index of delta6-desaturase activity) was significantly elevated in SZ patients. Compared with same-gender controls, EPA + DHA composition was significantly lower in male (-19%, P = 0.04) but not female (-13%, P = 0.33) SZ patients, whereas the 20:3/18:2 ratio was significantly elevated in both male (+22%, P = 0.008) and female (+22%, P = 0.04) SZ patients. These results suggest that the majority of SZ patients exhibit low LCn - 3 fatty acid levels which may place them at increased risk for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2013 · Cardiovascular Psychiatry and Neurology
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    • "Limitations include the lack of information on dietary and other clinical/demographic data from these subjects. The RBC fatty acid values observed here are likely specific to the US, and possibly other westernized countries; they would not be normative for other countries, particularly in Japan [21] "
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    ABSTRACT: The fatty acid (FA) composition of the red blood cell (RBC) has been reported to provide prognostic information regarding risk for coronary heart disease (CHD). In particular, the Omega-3 Index (RBC eicosapentaenoic acid+docosahexaenoic acid, EPA+DHA) has been shown to be independently and inversely related to risk for sudden cardiac death and for acute coronary syndromes. Higher linoleic acid (n-6) and lower trans FA levels have also been associated with improved CHD outcomes. Accordingly, the RBC FA panel has recently been introduced in routine clinical laboratory testing.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2013 · Prostaglandins Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids
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    • "For example, patients with generalized peroxisomal disorders exhibit significant erythrocyte and postmortem cortex DHA deficits [150] and impaired central myelinogenesis [151], and a preliminary structural MRI study found that treatment with DHA ethyl ester (100–600 mg/d) normalized or significantly improved brain white matter volumes in peroxisomal disorder patients [152]. A second preliminary structural MRI study found that greater habitual intake of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, which are positively correlated with erythrocyte DHA composition [108] [109] [110] [111], was associated with larger gray matter volumes in the anterior cingulate cortex, the right hippocampus , and the right amygdala [153]. In a prospective randomized placebo-controlled structural MRI trial, chronic (1 year) treatment with ethyl-EPA was found to slow volume loss in the caudate and thalamus of patients with Huntington's disease [154]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Animal studies have found that deficits in brain docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6n-3) accrual during perinatal development leads to transient and enduring abnormalities in brain development and function. Determining the relevance of this evidence to brain disorders in humans has been hampered by an inability to determine antimortem brain DHA levels and limitations associated with a postmortem approach. Accordingly, there is a need for alternate or complementary approaches to better understand the role of DHA in cortical function and pathology, and conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques may be ideally suited for this application. A major advantage of neuroimaging is that it permits prospective evaluation of the effects of manipulating DHA status on both clinical and neuroimaging variables. Emerging evidence from MRI studies suggest that greater DHA status is associated with cortical structural and functional integrity, and suggest that reduced DHA status and abnormalities in cortical function observed in psychiatric disorders may be interrelated phenomenon. Preliminary evidence from animal MRI studies support a critical role of DHA in normal brain development. Neuroimaging research in both human and animals therefore holds tremendous promise for developing a better understanding of the role of DHA status in cortical function, as well as for elucidating the impact of DHA deficiency on neuropathological processes implicated in the etiology and progression of neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2012 · Prostaglandins Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids
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