polyunsaturated fatty acids
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omega-3 fatty acidsNutrition
A family of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, primarily eicosapentaenoic (C20:5) and docosahexanenoic acid (C22:6). Increased dietary omega-3 fatty acids are cardioprotective and have a positive impact on inflammatory conditions, interfering with the production of mediators of inflammation—including leukotrienes, platelet-activating factor, interleukin-l and tumour necrosis factor; increased consumption of dietary omega-3FAs and/or fish is reported to benefit patients with chronic inflammatory conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Following ingestion, omega-3FAs are rapidly incorporated into phospholipids of plasma and blood vessels; they decrease plasma levels of VLDL-cholesterol, decrease platelet aggregation, cause vasodilation and protect against coronary artery disease and atherosclerosis.