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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

{alpha}-Linolenic Acid-Enriched Diet Prevents Myocardial Damage and Expands Longevity in Cardiomyopathic Hamsters.

Randomized clinical trials have demonstrated that the increased intake of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids significantly reduces the risk of ischemic cardiovascular disease, but no investigations have been performed in hereditary cardiomyopathies with diffusely damaged myocardium. In the present study, delta-sarcoglycan-null cardiomyopathic hamsters were fed from weaning to death with an alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)-enriched versus standard diet. Results demonstrated a great accumulation of ALA and eicosapentaenoic acid and an increased eicosapentaenoic/arachidonic acid ratio in cardiomyopathic hamster hearts, correlating with the preservation of myocardial structure and function. In fact, ALA administration preserved plasmalemma and mitochondrial membrane integrity, thus maintaining proper cell/extracellular matrix contacts and signaling, as well as a normal gene expression profile ( myosin heavy chain isoforms, atrial natriuretic peptide, transforming growth factor-beta1) and a limited extension of fibrotic areas within ALA-fed cardiomyopathic hearts. Consequently, hemodynamic indexes were safeguarded, and more than 60% of ALA-fed animals were still alive (mean survival time, 293 +/- 141.8 days) when all those fed with standard diet were deceased (mean survival time, 175.9 +/- 56 days). Therefore, the clinically evident beneficial effects of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are mainly related to preservation of myocardium structure and function and the attenuation of myocardial fibrosis.[1]


  1. {alpha}-Linolenic Acid-Enriched Diet Prevents Myocardial Damage and Expands Longevity in Cardiomyopathic Hamsters. Fiaccavento, R., Carotenuto, F., Minieri, M., Masuelli, L., Vecchini, A., Bei, R., Modesti, A., Binaglia, L., Fusco, A., Bertoli, A., Forte, G., Carosella, L., Di Nardo, P. Am. J. Pathol. (2006) [Pubmed]
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