Document Detail

Women and omega-3 Fatty acids.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15385858     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Omega-3 fatty acids (omega-3 FA) are constituents of the membranes of all cells in the body and are precursors of locally produced hormones, eicosanoids, which are important in the prevention and treatment of various diseases, especially in women. Omega-3 FA are of interest in some of the most common conditions affecting women. One mechanism underlying dysmenorrhea is a disturbed balance between antiinflammatory, vasodilator eicosanoids derived from omega-3 FA and proinflammatory, vasoconstrictor eicosanoids derived from omega-6 FA. Increased intake of omega-3 FA can reverse the symptoms in this condition by decreasing the amount of omega-6 FA in cell membranes. An increased prostacyclin/thromboxane ratio induced by omega-3 FA can facilitate pregnancy in women with infertility problems by increasing uterine blood flow. Supplementation with omega-3 FA during pregnancy lowers the risk of premature birth and can increase the length of pregnancy and birth weight by altering the balance of eicosanoids involved in labor and promote fetal growth by improving placental blood flow. Intake of omega-3 FA during pregnancy and breast feeding may facilitate the child's brain development. There is also some evidence that supplementation with omega-3 FA might help to prevent preeclampsia, postpartum depression, menopausal problems, postmenopausal osteoporosis, and breast cancer. Furthermore, because elevated triglyceride levels are associated with cardiovascular disease, especially in women; and because omega-3 FA have powerful effects on triglycerides, women in particular gain from an increased intake of these fatty acids. This is especially important in women receiving hormone therapy, which can increase triglyceride levels. The quality of the omega-3 FA preparation is important. It should have an appropriate antioxidant content not to induce lipid peroxidation, and its content of dioxin and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) should be well below the established safe limit.
Pia Saldeen; Tom Saldeen
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Obstetrical & gynecological survey     Volume:  59     ISSN:  0029-7828     ISO Abbreviation:  Obstet Gynecol Surv     Publication Date:  2004 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2004-09-23     Completed Date:  2004-12-30     Revised Date:  2005-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0401007     Medline TA:  Obstet Gynecol Surv     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  722-30; quiz 745-6     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Malmö University Hospital, University of Lund, Sweden.
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MeSH Terms
Brain / embryology,  growth & development
Breast Neoplasms / diet therapy,  etiology,  prevention & control
Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
Depression, Postpartum / etiology
Diabetes, Gestational / prevention & control
Dysmenorrhea / etiology
Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / administration & dosage,  metabolism*,  standards
Fatty Acids, Omega-6 / adverse effects,  metabolism
Hormone Replacement Therapy / adverse effects
Infertility / etiology
Menopause / metabolism
Obstetric Labor, Premature / etiology
Osteoporosis / prevention & control
Pre-Eclampsia / prevention & control
Triglycerides / blood
Women's Health*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Fatty Acids, Omega-3; 0/Fatty Acids, Omega-6; 0/Triglycerides

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