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Higher Red Blood Cell EPA and DHA May Protect Against Dyslipidemia and Inflammation

In a cross-sectional study involving 330 subjects, subjects with low red blood cell EPA and DHA levels were found to have significant predicted increases in triglycerides (99.5 mg/dl, 106%) and C-reactive protein (CRP) concentrations (137.8 mg/dl, 156%), associated with increases in body mass index (BMI) from 25 to 35, while subjects with high red blood cell EPA and high red blood cell DHA concentrations were found to have significantly lower predicted increases in triglycerides (13.9 mg/dl for EPA (23%) and 12.0 mg/dl (18%) for DHA) and CRP (0.5 mg/l (50%) for EPA and -0.5 mg/l (-34%) for DHA). These results suggest that having higher EPA and DHA status in red blood cells may help to reduce obesity-related risk of dyslipidemia and inflammation, thereby potentially reducing the risk of various inflammatory chronic diseases.


"Associations of obesity with triglycerides and C-reactive protein are attenuated in adults with high red blood cell eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids," Makhoul Z, Kristal AR, et al, Eur J Clin Nutr, 2011 March 23; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: Cancer Prevention Program, Division of Public Health Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA, USA).

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