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n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and fat tissue

Posted Dec 02 2009 1:09am
Adipose tissue has a key role in the development of metabolic syndrome which includes obesity, type 2 diabetes, dyslipidaemia, hypertension and other disorders. Systemic insulin resistance represents a major factor contributing to the development of metabolic syndrome in obesity. The resistance is precipitated by impaired adipose tissue glucose and lipid metabolism, linked to a low-grade inflammation of adipose. tissue and secretion of pro-inflammatory adipokines. Development of metabolic syndrome could be delayed by lifestyle modifications, while both dietary and pharmacological interventions are required for the successful therapy of metabolic syndrome . The n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids , EPA and DHA, which are abundant in marine fish, act as hypolipidaemic factors, reduce cardiac events and decrease the progression of atherosclerosis. Thus, n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids represent healthy constituents of diets for patients with metabolic syndrome . In rodents n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids prevent the development of obesity and impaired glucose tolerance. The effects of n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids are mediated transcriptionally by AMP-activated protein kinase and by other mechanisms. n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids activate a metabolic switch toward lipid catabolism and suppression of lipogenesis, i.e. in the liver, adipose tissue and small intestine. This metabolic switch improves dyslipidaemia and reduces ectopic deposition of lipids, resulting in improved insulin signalling. Despite a relatively low accumulation of n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in adipose tissue lipids, adipose tissue is specifically linked to the beneficial effects of n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, as indicated by (1) the prevention of adipose tissue hyperplasia and hypertrophy, (2) the induction of mitochondrial biogenesis in adipocytes, (3) the induction of adiponectin and (4) the amelioration of adipose tissue inflammation by n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids.Kopecky et al 2009 n-3 PUFA : bioavailability and modulation of adipose tissue function Proceedings of the Nutrition Society vol 68 361-369
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