Study Title:

DHA Promotes Healthy Heart Energy Production

Study Abstract

Treatment with the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) exerts cardioprotective effects, and suppresses Ca(2+)-induced opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (MPTP). These effects are associated with increased DHA and EPA, and lower arachidonic acid (ARA) in cardiac phospholipids. While clinical studies suggest the triglyceride lowering effects of DHA and EPA are equivalent, little is known about the independent effects of DHA and EPA on mitochondria function. We compared the effects of dietary supplementation with the omega-3 PUFAs DHA and EPA on cardiac mitochondrial phospholipid fatty acid composition and Ca(2+)-induced MPTP opening. Rats were fed a standard lab diet with either normal low levels of omega-3 PUFA, or DHA or EPA at 2.5% of energy intake for 8weeks, and cardiac mitochondria were isolated and analyzed for Ca(2+)-induced MPTP opening and phospholipid fatty acyl composition. DHA supplementation increased both DHA and EPA and decreased ARA in mitochondrial phospholipid, and significantly delayed MPTP opening as assessed by increased Ca(2+) retention capacity and decreased Ca(2+)-induced mitochondria swelling. EPA supplementation increased EPA in mitochondrial phospholipids, but did not affect DHA, only modestly lowered ARA, and did not affect MPTP opening. In summary, dietary supplementation with DHA but not EPA, profoundly altered mitochondrial phospholipid fatty acid composition and delayed Ca(2+)-induced MPTP opening.

Study Information

Khairallah RJ, Sparagna GC, Khanna N, O'Shea KM, Hecker PA, Kristian T, Fiskum G, Des Rosiers C, Polster BM, Stanley WC.
Dietary supplementation with docosahexaenoic acid, but not eicosapentaenoic acid, dramatically alters cardiac mitochondrial phospholipid fatty acid composition and prevents permeability transition.
Biochim Biophys Acta.
2010 August
Division of Cardiology and Department of Medicine, University of Maryland, 20 Penn Street, HSF2, Room S022, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.

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