The n-3 and n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) are among the most studied nutrients in human metabolism. In the past few decades, prospective studies and controlled trials have supported the view that the effects of these essential fatty acids are clinically relevant. PUFA profiles in different blood compartments are reflections of both diet and metabolism, and their levels may be related to disease risk. Despite widespread interest, there is no consensus regarding which biomarkers best reflect PUFA status in the body. The measurement of PUFA levels is not straight-forward, and a wide variety of indices have been used in clinical studies, producing conflicting results. A major source of heterogeneity among studies is associated with research design, sampling, and laboratory analyses. To date, the n-3 index, n-6/n-3 ratio, and arachidonic acid (AA)/eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) ratio are the most promising biomarkers associated with PUFA metabolism. Although hotly debated, these indices may be considered at least markers, if not risk factors, for several diseases, especially cardiovascular events and brain disorders. Here, we summarize the most updated evidence of n-3 and n-6 PUFA effects on human health, reviewing current controversies on the aforementioned indices and whether they can be considered valuable predictors of clinical outcomes.

Metabolic indices of polyunsaturated fatty acids: current evidence, research controversies, and clinical utility

Corbi G;
2020

Abstract

The n-3 and n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) are among the most studied nutrients in human metabolism. In the past few decades, prospective studies and controlled trials have supported the view that the effects of these essential fatty acids are clinically relevant. PUFA profiles in different blood compartments are reflections of both diet and metabolism, and their levels may be related to disease risk. Despite widespread interest, there is no consensus regarding which biomarkers best reflect PUFA status in the body. The measurement of PUFA levels is not straight-forward, and a wide variety of indices have been used in clinical studies, producing conflicting results. A major source of heterogeneity among studies is associated with research design, sampling, and laboratory analyses. To date, the n-3 index, n-6/n-3 ratio, and arachidonic acid (AA)/eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) ratio are the most promising biomarkers associated with PUFA metabolism. Although hotly debated, these indices may be considered at least markers, if not risk factors, for several diseases, especially cardiovascular events and brain disorders. Here, we summarize the most updated evidence of n-3 and n-6 PUFA effects on human health, reviewing current controversies on the aforementioned indices and whether they can be considered valuable predictors of clinical outcomes.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11588/891581
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