Background Arachidonic acid (ARA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are important components of phospholipids and cell membranes. However, there has been no clinical report on the direct effects of ARA and DHA on coronary circulation.
Objective To evaluate the effects of ARA and DHA on coronary circulation using measurement of coronary flow velocity reserve (CFVR) by transthoracic Doppler echocardiography (TTDE).
Methods This was a double-blind, placebo-matched study of 28 Japanese elderly individuals (19 men, mean 65 years) conducted to compare the effects of polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) (ARA: 240mg/day, DHA: 240mg/day) and placebo on CFVR. Coronary flow velocity (CFV) of the left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) was measured at rest and during hyperemia by TTDE to determine CFVR.
Results There were no significant differences in CFV at rest or during hyperemia in CFVR at baseline in the 2 groups (PUFA vs placebo: 17 ± 7 vs 16 ± 6, 62 ± 20 vs 59 ± 12, and 3.85 ± 1.04 vs 3.98 ± 0.83 cm/s, respectively). After 3-month supplementation, CFV during hyperemia was significantly higher in the PUFA than in the placebo group (73 ± 19 vs 64 ± 12 cm/s, p<0.01) although no significant difference was found between the two groups in CFV at rest (17 ± 7 vs 16 ± 4 cm/s). Thus, CFVR significantly increased after PUFA consumption (3.85 ± 1.04 vs. 4.46 ± 0.95, p=0.0023).
Conclusion Three-month supplementation of PUFA increased CFVR in Japanese elderly individuals, which suggests the beneficial effects of PUFA on the coronary microcirculation.
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