An inverse relationship between plasma n-3 fatty acids and C-reactive protein in healthy individuals

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High sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) is a marker of low-grade sustained inflammation. Omega-3 (n-3) fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties and are associated with reduced cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. The aim of this study was to investigate whether plasma n-3 fatty acid concentration is related to hs-CRP concentration. A total of 124 free-living adults, were divided into tertiles of plasma hs-CRP (<1.0, 1.0-3.0 and > 3.0 mg/l). Body composition and anthropometric measurements were recorded. Hs-CRP was analysed using immunoassays and fatty acids were measured by gas chromatography. Plasma hs-CRP concentration was negatively correlated with total n-3 fatty acids (P = 0.05), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA; P = 0.002) and docosapentaenoic acid (DPA; P = 0.01). The highest hs-CRP tertile (>3.0 mg/l) had significantly lower concentrations of total n-3 fatty acids, EPA and DPA, when compared with the other tertiles (P<0.05). This study provides evidence that in healthy individuals, plasma n-3 fatty acid concentration is inversely related to hs-CRP concentration, a surrogate marker of CVD risk. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2009) 63, 1154-1156; doi:10.1038/ejcn.2009.20; published online 8 April 2009

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