Special Issue "Marine Omega-3s and Human Health"

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643). This special issue belongs to the section "Micronutrients and Human Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 December 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. James DiNicolantonio
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Preventive Cardiology, St. Luke's Hospital, Kansas City, 816, 975 MO, USA
Interests: omega-3; magnesium; nutraceuticals; nutrition

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In this Special Issue of Nutrients, we would like to bring together papers dealing with topics relating to marine omega-3s (EPA/DHA) on health conditions including but not limited to cardiovascular, metabolic, and mental health. We welcome all types of papers, ranging from review articles, meta-analyses, to original data articles pertaining to long-chain ‘marine’ omega-3s.

The beneficial effects of marine omega-3s have been a topic of hot debate for decades. Many clinicians and the general public are confused about whether these long-chain fatty acids provide any benefits. There is also confusion regarding what health conditions may be improved with omega-3 consumption, what dose of EPA/DHA is needed for improving health markers, and whether there is a difference between many common over the counter omega-3 supplements and prescription omega-3s. This issue will help to answer some of these questions and provide further evidence for additional research that may be needed in the marine omega-3 space.

Therefore, the journal aims to collect high-quality manuscripts that focus on marine omega-3s effects on health conditions.

Dr. James DiNicolantonio
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Nutrients is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Omega-3
  • Eicosapentaenoic acid
  • Docosahexaenoic acid
  • Fish oil

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Article
Fish Oil Enriched in EPA, but Not in DHA, Reverses the Metabolic Syndrome and Adipocyte Dysfunction Induced by a High-Fat Diet
Nutrients 2021, 13(3), 754; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu13030754 - 26 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1357
Abstract
This study aimed to investigate the effects of two commercially available fish oils (FOs) containing different proportions of two omega-3 fatty acids (FA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), on the metabolic and endocrine dysfunctions of white adipose tissue resulting from obesity. [...] Read more.
This study aimed to investigate the effects of two commercially available fish oils (FOs) containing different proportions of two omega-3 fatty acids (FA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), on the metabolic and endocrine dysfunctions of white adipose tissue resulting from obesity. Male C57BL/6J mice, 8 weeks old, received a control or high-fat diet (CO and HF groups, with 9% and 59% energy from fat, respectively) for 8 weeks. The next 8 weeks, the HF group was subdivided into HF, HF+FO/E (HF+5:1 EPA:DHA), and HF+FO/D (HF+5:1 DHA:EPA). Supplementation was performed by gavage, three times a week. All groups that received the HF diet had lower food and caloric intake, but a higher fat intake, body weight (BW) gain, glucose intolerance, and a significant increase in inguinal (ING), retroperitoneal (RP), and epididymal (EPI) adipose tissues when compared to the CO group. Additionally, HF and HF+FO/D groups showed insulin resistance, adipocyte hypertrophy, increased lipolysis and secretion of TNF-α, resistin and IL-10 adipokines by ING and RP adipocytes, and adiponectin only by the HF+FO/D group in ING adipocytes. All of these effects were completely reversed in the HF+FO/E group, which also showed partial reversion in BW gain and glucose intolerance. Both the HF+FO/E and HF+FO/D groups showed a reduction in ING and RP adipose depots when compared to the HF group, but only HF+FO/E in the EPI depot. HF+FO/E, but not HF+FO/D, was able to prevent the changes triggered by obesity in TNF-α, Il-10, and resistin secretion in ING and RP depots. These results strongly suggest that different EPA:DHA ratios have different impacts on the adipose tissue metabolism, FO being rich in EPA, but not in DHA, and effective in reversing the changes induced by obesity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Omega-3s and Human Health)
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Article
Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Prevent Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH) and Stimulate Adipogenesis
Nutrients 2021, 13(2), 622; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu13020622 - 15 Feb 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1553
Abstract
The increasing impact of obesity on global human health intensifies the importance of studies focusing on agents interfering with the metabolism and remodeling not only of the white adipose tissue (WAT) but also of the liver. In the present study, we have addressed [...] Read more.
The increasing impact of obesity on global human health intensifies the importance of studies focusing on agents interfering with the metabolism and remodeling not only of the white adipose tissue (WAT) but also of the liver. In the present study, we have addressed the impact of n-3 PUFA in adipose cells’ proliferation and adipogenesis, as well as in the hepatic lipid profile and morphology. Mice were induced to obesity by the consumption of a high-fat diet (HFD) for 16 weeks. At the 9th week, the treatment with fish oil (FO) was initiated and maintained until the end of the period. The FO treatment reduced the animals’ body mass, plasma lipids, glucose, plasma transaminases, liver mass, triacylglycerol, and cholesterol liver content when compared to animals consuming only HFD. FO also decreased the inguinal (ing) WAT mass, reduced adipocyte volume, increased adipose cellularity (hyperplasia), and increased the proliferation of adipose-derived stromal cells (AdSCs) which corroborates the increment in the proliferation of 3T3-L1 pre-adipocytes or AdSCs treated in vitro with n-3 PUFA. After submitting the in vitro treated (n-3 PUFA) cells, 3T3-L1 and AdSCs, to an adipogenic cocktail, there was an increase in the mRNA expression of adipogenic transcriptional factors and other late adipocyte markers, as well as an increase in lipid accumulation when compared to not treated cells. Finally, the expression of browning-related genes was also higher in the n-3 PUFA treated group. We conclude that n-3 PUFA exerts an attenuating effect on body mass, dyslipidemia, and hepatic steatosis induced by HFD. FO treatment led to decreasing adiposity and adipocyte hypertrophy in ingWAT while increasing hyperplasia. Data suggest that FO treatment might induce recruitment (by increased proliferation and differentiation) of new adipocytes (white and/or beige) to the ingWAT, which is fundamental for the healthy expansion of WAT. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Omega-3s and Human Health)
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Article
Association of the Omega-3 Index with Incident Prostate Cancer with Updated Meta-Analysis: The Cooper Center Longitudinal Study
Nutrients 2021, 13(2), 384; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu13020384 - 26 Jan 2021
Viewed by 1281
Abstract
Background: The association between long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) and prostate cancer (PC) remains unclear. Methods: We compared incident PC rates as a function of the Omega-3 Index [O3I, erythrocyte eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids (EPA + DHA)] in 5607 men (40–80 [...] Read more.
Background: The association between long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) and prostate cancer (PC) remains unclear. Methods: We compared incident PC rates as a function of the Omega-3 Index [O3I, erythrocyte eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids (EPA + DHA)] in 5607 men (40–80 years of age) seen at the Cooper Clinic who were free of PC at baseline. The average follow-up was 5.1 ± 2.8 years until censoring or reporting a new PC diagnosis. Proportional hazards regression was used to model the linear association between baseline O3I and the age-adjusted time to diagnosis. A meta-analysis of n-3 PUFA biomarker-based studies and incident PC was updated with the present findings. Results: A total of 116 cases of incident PC were identified. When O3I was examined as a continuous variable, the age-adjusted hazard ratio (HR) (95% CI) was 0.98 (0.89, 1.07; p = 0.25) for each 1% increment in the O3I. The updated meta-analysis with 10 biomarker-based studies found no significant relationship between EPA or DHA levels and risk for PC. Conclusions: We find no evidence in this study nor in a meta-analysis of similar studies that consuming n-3 PUFA-rich fish or using fish oil supplements affects the risk of PC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Omega-3s and Human Health)
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Article
Increased Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake Is Inversely Associated with Subclinical Inflammation in Healthy Elderly Men, Based on the 2015–2018 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
Nutrients 2021, 13(2), 338; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu13020338 - 24 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1168
Abstract
(1) Background: Subclinical inflammation as a risk factor of cardiovascular diseases was clinically measured using C-reactive protein (CRP) level. (2) Methods: This study was cross-sectionally designed based the 2015–2018 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES). The ratio of daily omega-3 fatty [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Subclinical inflammation as a risk factor of cardiovascular diseases was clinically measured using C-reactive protein (CRP) level. (2) Methods: This study was cross-sectionally designed based the 2015–2018 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES). The ratio of daily omega-3 fatty acids to energy intake (ω3FA ratio) was classified into four quartile groups (Q1, <0.3%; Q2, 0.3%–<0.6%; Q3, 0.6%–<1.0%; and Q4, ≥1.0% in both sexes). Logistic regression analysis was conducted to investigate the association between the ω3FA ratio and subclinical inflammation defined as CRP levels ≥3 mg/dL. (3) Results: The ω3FA ratio in subjects without and with subclinical inflammation was 0.8% and 0.7% in men (p-value = 0.001), and 0.8% and 0.8% in women (p-value = 0.491), respectively. The prevalence of subclinical inflammation in males decreased with increasing quartile of ω3FA ratio (12.9%, 9.6%, 7.4%, and 7.7%, p-value = 0.033), while female prevalence was not significant among quartile groups. Compared to Q1, odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) for subclinical inflammation of Q2, Q3, and Q4 were 0.740 (0.465–1.177), 0.564 (0.341–0.930), and 0.549 (0.317–0.953) in males, and 1.066 (0.653–1.741), 1.105 (0.600–1.718), and 0.934 (0.556–1.571) in females after full adjustment. (4) Conclusion: The ω3FA ratio is associated with subclinical inflammation in men. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Omega-3s and Human Health)
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Article
Effects of Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Supplementation on Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Nutrients 2020, 12(9), 2769; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu12092769 - 11 Sep 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2487
Abstract
(1) Aim: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a prevalent disease worldwide. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) bear anti-inflammatory action and can ameliorate hyperlipidemia. We wish to appraise the effects of n-3 PUFAs supplement on NAFLD. (2) Methods: We searched CENTRAL, Embase, [...] Read more.
(1) Aim: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a prevalent disease worldwide. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) bear anti-inflammatory action and can ameliorate hyperlipidemia. We wish to appraise the effects of n-3 PUFAs supplement on NAFLD. (2) Methods: We searched CENTRAL, Embase, and MEDLINE on 29 March 2020 for randomized control trials (RCTs) on the effects of n-3 PUFAs supplementation in treating NAFLD. The Cochrane Collaboration’s tool was used to assess the risk of bias of included RCTs. (3) Results: We included 22 RCTs with 1366 participants. The risk of bias of included RCTs was generally low or unclear. n-3 PUFAs supplementation significantly reduced liver fat compared with placebo (pooled risk ratio 1.52; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.09 to 2.13). n-3 PUFAs supplementation also significantly improved the levels of triglyceride, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein, and body-mass index, with pooled mean difference and 95% CI being −28.57 (−40.81 to −16.33), −7.82 (−14.86 to −0.79), 3.55 (1.38 to 5.73), and −0.46 (−0.84 to −0.08), respectively. (4) Conclusions: The current evidence supports the effects of n-3 PUFAs supplementation in improving fatty liver. n-3 PUFAs supplementation may also improve blood lipid levels and obesity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Omega-3s and Human Health)
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Review

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Review
An Update on Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Cardiovascular Health
Nutrients 2021, 13(1), 204; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu13010204 - 12 Jan 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2411
Abstract
Interest in the potential cardiovascular (CV) benefits of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (Ω-3) began in the 1940s and was amplified by a subsequent landmark trial showing reduced CV disease (CVD) risk following acute myocardial infarction. Since that time, however, much controversy has circulated [...] Read more.
Interest in the potential cardiovascular (CV) benefits of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (Ω-3) began in the 1940s and was amplified by a subsequent landmark trial showing reduced CV disease (CVD) risk following acute myocardial infarction. Since that time, however, much controversy has circulated due to discordant results among several studies and even meta-analyses. Then, in 2018, three more large, randomized trials were released—these too with discordant findings regarding the overall benefits of Ω-3 therapy. Interestingly, the trial that used a higher dose (4 g/day highly purified eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)) found a remarkable, statistically significant reduction in CVD events. It was proposed that insufficient Ω-3 dosing (<1 g/day EPA and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)), as well as patients aggressively treated with multiple other effective medical therapies, may explain the conflicting results of Ω-3 therapy in controlled trials. We have thus reviewed the current evidence regarding Ω-3 and CV health, put forth potential reasoning for discrepant results in the literature, highlighted critical concepts such as measuring blood levels of Ω-3 with a dedicated Ω-3 index and addressed current recommendations as suggested by health care professional societies and recent significant scientific data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Omega-3s and Human Health)
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Review
Nutraceutical Strategies for Suppressing NLRP3 Inflammasome Activation: Pertinence to the Management of COVID-19 and Beyond
Nutrients 2021, 13(1), 47; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu13010047 - 25 Dec 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3849
Abstract
Inflammasomes are intracellular protein complexes that form in response to a variety of stress signals and that serve to catalyze the proteolytic conversion of pro-interleukin-1β and pro-interleukin-18 to active interleukin-1β and interleukin-18, central mediators of the inflammatory response; inflammasomes can also promote a [...] Read more.
Inflammasomes are intracellular protein complexes that form in response to a variety of stress signals and that serve to catalyze the proteolytic conversion of pro-interleukin-1β and pro-interleukin-18 to active interleukin-1β and interleukin-18, central mediators of the inflammatory response; inflammasomes can also promote a type of cell death known as pyroptosis. The NLRP3 inflammasome has received the most study and plays an important pathogenic role in a vast range of pathologies associated with inflammation—including atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, the complications of diabetes, neurological and autoimmune disorders, dry macular degeneration, gout, and the cytokine storm phase of COVID-19. A consideration of the molecular biology underlying inflammasome priming and activation enables the prediction that a range of nutraceuticals may have clinical potential for suppressing inflammasome activity—antioxidants including phycocyanobilin, phase 2 inducers, melatonin, and N-acetylcysteine, the AMPK activator berberine, glucosamine, zinc, and various nutraceuticals that support generation of hydrogen sulfide. Complex nutraceuticals or functional foods featuring a number of these agents may find utility in the prevention and control of a wide range of medical disorders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Omega-3s and Human Health)
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Review
The Importance of Marine Omega-3s for Brain Development and the Prevention and Treatment of Behavior, Mood, and Other Brain Disorders
Nutrients 2020, 12(8), 2333; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu12082333 - 04 Aug 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2738
Abstract
Most of the global population is deficient in long-chain marine omega-3s. In particular, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a long-chain omega-3 fatty acid, is important for brain and eye development. Additionally, DHA plays a significant role in mental health throughout early childhood and even into [...] Read more.
Most of the global population is deficient in long-chain marine omega-3s. In particular, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a long-chain omega-3 fatty acid, is important for brain and eye development. Additionally, DHA plays a significant role in mental health throughout early childhood and even into adulthood. In the brain, DHA is important for cellular membrane fluidity, function and neurotransmitter release. Evidence indicates that a low intake of marine omega-3s increases the risk for numerous mental health issues, including Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), autism, bipolar disorder, depression and suicidal ideation. Studies giving supplemental marine omega-3s have shown promise for improving numerous mental health conditions. This paper will review the evidence surrounding marine omega-3s and mental health conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Omega-3s and Human Health)
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