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Can fish oil supplementation improve endothelial function in asymptomatic offspring of patients with peripheral arterial disease?

Authors Spark JI, Delaney CL, Allan RB, Ho M, Miller MD

Received 12 April 2013

Accepted for publication 23 April 2013

Published 11 July 2013 Volume 2013:5 Pages 83—91


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

J Ian Spark,1 Christopher L Delaney,1 Richard B Allan,1 Melissa HL Ho,2 Michelle D Miller2

1Department of Vascular Surgery, Flinders Medical Centre and Flinders University, 2Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Flinders University, Bedford Park, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Background: Peripheral arterial disease affects 10%–25% of adults aged .55 years, and while a multitude of risk factors exist, one key influence is genetics. Rather than awaiting the onset of debilitating symptoms, interventions that target high-risk individuals and prevent or delay the onset of symptoms would have widespread impact. The aim of this study is to implement a 12-week fish oil intervention (10 mL/day containing approximately 1.5 g of eicosapentaenoic acid and 1 g of docosahexaenoic acid), with the intention of improving endothelial function, inflammation, and lipid status in a high-risk population, ie, those with impaired endothelial function and a parent with symptomatic peripheral arterial disease.
Methods: This is a parallel-group, double-blind, randomized controlled trial involving administration of fish oil containing either about 1.5 g of docosahexaenoic acid and 1 g of docosahexaenoic acid (intervention) or about 0.15 g of eicosapentaenoic acid and about 0.1 g of docosahexaenoic acid for 12 consecutive weeks (control). The participants are 100 offspring of adults with diagnosed peripheral arterial disease who themselves have an ankle-brachial pressure index ≥0.9 but impaired endothelial function according to peripheral arterial tonometry. Measures performed at baseline and at 6 and 12 weeks include flow-mediated dilatation, C-reactive protein, absolute neutrophil and lymphocyte counts, tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-1ß, and interleukin-6 levels, thromboxane and prostacyclin, lipid status, and homocysteine, nitrite, and nitrate levels. Participants will be phoned fortnightly to monitor adherence and side effects, while participants will maintain a diary of fish oil consumption on a daily basis, and fish oil returned will be measured to confirm adherence. Participants will complete validated surveys to determine background diet and physical activity levels.
Discussion: This study will examine the effectiveness of a moderate-dose fish oil intervention in reversing endothelial dysfunction in asymptomatic offspring of patients with peripheral arterial disease. It provides the opportunity to delay the progression of peripheral arterial disease using a cheap and readily available dietary supplement that has minimal side effects compared with synthetic vasoactive pharmacological medications.

Keywords: omega 3 fatty acids, endothelial function, peripheral arterial disease

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