Food and Behaviour Research

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Association between polyunsaturated fatty acids and inflammatory markers in patients in secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease

Bersch-Ferreira ├éC, Sampaio GR, Gehringer MO, Ross-Fernandes MB, Kovacs C, Alves R, Pereira JL, Magnoni CD, Weber B, Rogero MM (2017) Nutrition.  2017 May;37: 30-36. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2016.12.006 

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The aim of this study was to assess the association between polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and inflammatory biomarkers among patients in secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD).


In this cross-sectional substudy from BALANCE Program Trial, we have collected data from 364 patients with established CVD. Twenty-four-hour dietary recalls and plasma FA concentrations were analyzed to estimate the FA intake. Inflammatory biomarkers measurement consisted of interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12, C-reactive protein, adiponectin, and tumor necrosis factor-α. After log-transformation of inflammatory biomarkers, multivariate-adjusted general linear model was used to examine the effect of FA intake. The association was adjusted for body mass index, waist circumference, energy, smoking status, age, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, physical activity, and calcium channel blockers.


PUFAs were inversely associated with C-reactive protein levels (P = 0.006) and with IL-1 β. The increase of 1 g/1000 kcal in PUFAs, omega-3, and omega-6 reduces, on average, 6%, 48%, and 8% respectively, the mean concentration of IL-1 β.


Omega-3 and omega-6 FA intakes are inversely associated with inflammatory biomarkers among CVD patients. Additional studies on omega-3 and omega-6 intake in relation to inflammatory biomarkers in patients in secondary prevention of CVD are needed, particularly regarding dietary patterns that are rich in some sources of PUFA.