oa Cardiovascular Journal of Africa - Changes in platelet function in atherosclerotic vervet monkeys after long-term dietary enrichment with n-3 and n-6 essential fatty acids

Volume 6, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1995-1892
  • E-ISSN: 1680-0745



Plaque formation is a complication of atherosclerosis that predisposes to thrombotic myocardial and cerebral infarction. Platelet activation, vascular stenosis and anomalous vasoconstriction are contributory factors. Hypothetically, dietary supplementation with essential fatty acids could modify the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis by inhibiting platelet function, by promoting synthesis of vasoactive eicosanoids, and by altering the composition of plasma lipids. To test this theory primates (vervet monkeys) with confirmed atherosclerosis were supplemented for 20 months so that matched individuals received 2 % of their dietary energy from either n-3 or n-6 essential fatty acids added to an atherogenic diet. In matched subsets of each essential fatty acid treatment, the atherogenic diet was changed to a therapeutic diet known to regress some components of atherosclerosis.

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