Healing the heart with fat

July 21, 2014
Cardiac fibrosis was dampened in mice treated with 18-HEPE (right) compared with a control group (left). Credit: Endo et al., 2014

Too much dietary fat is bad for the heart, but the right kind of fat keeps the heart healthy, according to a paper published in The Journal of Experimental Medicine.

Unsaturated dietary fatty acids, such as (EPA), are known to protect against cardiovascular diseases. However, the mechanism and the specific fat metabolites responsible for this protection were unknown.

A group of Japanese scientists now show that mice engineered to produce their own EPA are protected against heart disease and have improved . One particular EPA metabolite, called 18-hydroxyeicosapentaenoic acid (18-HEPE), was required for this protection. 18-HEPE was produced by immune cells called macrophages, which dampened inflammation and fibrosis in the heart. Treatment with 18-HEPE confirmed its heart-protective effects.

A diet enriched in 18-HEPE might thus help prevent heart failure in patients with cardiovascular diseases.

Explore further: Intake of the right fatty acids can help to prevent heart attacks

More information: Endo, J., et al. 2014. J. Exp. Med. DOI: 10.1084/jem.20132011

Related Stories

Discarded surgery fat treats heart attacks

July 4, 2014

Stem cells from fat to be discarded during cardiac surgery can improve heart function, according to research that will be presented at Frontiers in CardioVascular Biology (FCVB) 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. The meeting is organised ...

Recommended for you

Biomarkers may help better predict who will have a stroke

August 24, 2016

People with high levels of four biomarkers in the blood may be more likely to develop a stroke than people with low levels of the biomarkers, according to a study published in the August 24, 2016, online issue of Neurology, ...

Amyloid-related heart failure now detectable with imaging test

August 24, 2016

A type of heart failure caused by a build-up of amyloid can be accurately diagnosed and prognosticated with an imaging technique, eliminating the need for a biopsy, according to a multicenter study led by researchers at Columbia ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.