n-3 PUFAs improve erythrocyte fatty acid profile in patients with small AAA: a randomized controlled trial

Lara T. Meital, Mark T. Windsor, Rebecca M. L. Ramirez Jewell, Peter Young, Karl Schulze, Rebecca Magee, Jill O’Donnell, Pankaj Jha, Maria Perissiou, Jonathan Golledge, Tom G. Bailey, Peter Brooks, Christopher D. Askew, Fraser D. Russell

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Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is an important cause of death in older adults, which has no current drug therapy. Inflammation and abnormal redox status are believed to be key pathogenic mechanisms for AAA. In light of evidence correlating inflammation with aberrant fatty acid profiles, this study compared erythrocyte fatty acid content in 43 AAA patients (diameter 3.0–4.5 cm) and 52 healthy controls. In addition, the effect of omega-3 PUFA (n-3 PUFA) supplementation on erythrocyte fatty acid content was examined in a cohort of 30 AAA patients as part of a 12 week randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial. Blood analyses identified associations between AAA and decreased linoleic acid (LA), and AAA and increased Δ6-desaturase activity and biosynthesis of arachidonic acid (AA) from LA. Omega-3 PUFA supplementation (1.5 g DHA + 0.3 g EPA/day) decreased red blood cell distribution width (14.8 ± 0.4% to 13.8 ± 0.2%; P = 0.003) and levels of pro-inflammatory n-6 PUFAs (AA, 12.46 ± 0.23% to 10.14 ± 0.3%, P < 0.001; adrenic acid, 2.12 ± 0.13% to 1.23 ± 0.09%; P < 0.001). In addition, Δ-4 desaturase activity increased (DHA/docosapentaenoic acid ratio, 1.85 ± 0.14 to 3.93 ± 0.17; P < 0.001) and elongase 2/5 activity decreased (adrenic acid/AA ratio, 0.17 ± 0.01 to 0.12 ± 0.01; P < 0.01) following supplementation. The findings suggest that n-3 PUFAs improve fatty acid profiles and ameliorate factors associated with inflammation in AAA patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1154-1163
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Lipid Research
Issue number6
Early online date26 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019


  • omega-3 fatty acids
  • antioxidants
  • clinical studies
  • diet and dietary lipids
  • diet effects/lipid metabolism
  • abdominal aortic aneurysms
  • omega-3 index
  • polyunsaturated fatty acids


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