Omega-3 fatty acids may help heal a broken heart

May 30, 2013, Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

Procedures like angioplasty, stenting and bypass surgery may save lives, but they also cause excessive inflammation and scarring, which ultimately can lead to permanent disability and even death. A new research report appearing in The FASEB Journal, shows that naturally derived compounds from polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-3s) may reduce the inflammation associated with these procedures to help arteries more fully and completely heal.

"Our study suggests that biologically active, naturally occurring compounds derived from omega-3 PUFAs reduce inflammation and improve the healing of blood vessels after injury," said Michael S. Conte, M.D., a researcher involved in the work from Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery and the Heart and Vascular Center at the University of California, in San Francisco, CA. "They suggest a new opportunity to improve the long-term results of cardiovascular procedures such as bypass surgery and angioplasty by the therapeutic application of this class of agents or their dietary precursors."

To make this discovery, Conte and colleagues studied the effects of the compounds (resolvin or RvD) first in cultured vascular cells taken from patients who had undergone bypass operations, and then in rabbits who were treated with a balloon angioplasty procedure in the arteries of the hind limb. In the human cells, treatment with RvD dramatically reduced features that are associated with the typical vascular injury response—inflammation, cell migration, and cell growth in vascular . The potency of these compounds corresponds to concentrations that have been measured in the blood of human subjects taking high dose for short periods of time. In rabbits, researchers treated the artery with RvD at the time of the procedure by infusing the drug directly into the vessel, and found that this one-time treatment reduced inflammation and subsequent scarring of the vessel after one month.

"If successful in further studies, this finding could be a huge benefit to patients undergoing these procedures," said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. "What's even better, is that these potentially lifesaving compounds are already available in any fish market or grocery store."

Explore further: Stroke risk higher after bypass than angioplasty: analysis

More information: Takuya Miyahara, Sara Runge, Anuran Chatterjee, Mian Chen, Giorgio Mottola, Jonathan M. Fitzgerald, Charles N. Serhan, and Michael S. Conte. D-series resolvin attenuates vascular smooth muscle cell activation and neointimal hyperplasia following vascular injury. FASEB J June 2013 27:2220-2232; doi:10.1096/fj.12-225615

Related Stories

Stroke risk higher after bypass than angioplasty: analysis

August 21, 2012
(HealthDay News) -- The potential for a stroke is far more common after a bypass than after angioplasty, new research reports, even though the risk after either heart procedure is still relatively low.

A genetic factor is linked to long-term success of leg bypass surgery

June 20, 2011
Outcomes of bypass surgery to repair blocked arteries in the legs tend to be better in the roughly one-in-five people who have inherited a specific genetic variation from both parents, according to a study presented at the ...

New gene delivery method: Magnetic nanoparticles

May 30, 2013
Stent angioplasty saves lives, but there often are side effects and complications related to the procedure, such as arterial restenosis and thrombosis. In the June 2013 issue of The FASEB Journal, however, scientists report ...

Aspirin and omega-3 fatty acids work together to fight inflammation

February 21, 2013
Experts tout the health benefits of low-dose aspirin and omega-3 fatty acids found in foods like flax seeds and salmon, but the detailed mechanisms involved in their effects are not fully known. Now researchers reporting ...

Team develops new method to assess options for heart-disease surgery

April 22, 2013
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have developed a method of predicting which patients with heart disease would benefit more from surgery and which would benefit more from angioplasty.

Drug-coated stents prevent leg amputation

April 14, 2013
Drug-eluting stents can keep clogged leg arteries open, preventing amputation of the leg, suggests research being presented at the Society of Interventional Radiology's 38th Annual Scientific Meeting in New Orleans.

Recommended for you

Hippo pathway found essential to orchestrate the development of the heart

April 23, 2018
Using a technology that provides a 'high-resolution view' of the status of individual cells, a team of researchers has gained new insights into the embryonic development of the mouse heart. They discovered that during development, ...

Compound improves stroke outcome by reducing lingering inflammation

April 20, 2018
An experimental compound appears to improve stroke outcome by reducing the destructive inflammation that can continue months after a stroke, scientists report.

Infections could trigger stroke in pregnant women during hospital delivery

April 20, 2018
Pregnant women who have an infection when they enter the hospital for delivery might be at higher risk of having a stroke during their stay, according to new research.

Novel antioxidant makes old blood vessels seem young again

April 19, 2018
Older adults who take a novel antioxidant that specifically targets cellular powerhouses, or mitochondria, see age-related vascular changes reverse by the equivalent of 15 to 20 years within six weeks, according to new University ...

Changing how blood pressure is measured will save lives

April 19, 2018
Traditional methods of testing for high-blood pressure are no longer adequate and risk missing vital health signs, which can lead to premature death, a study co-led by UCL has found.

Eyes of adolescents could reveal risk of cardiovascular disease

April 19, 2018
New research has found that poorer well-being or 'health-related quality of life' (HRQoL) in adolescence could be an indicator of future cardiovascular disease risk.

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.