Impact Factor 3.201 | CiteScore 3.22
More on impact ›

Review ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Physiol. | doi: 10.3389/fphys.2019.01129

The physiological effect of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) intake and exercise on hemorheology, microvascular function and physical performance in health and cardiovascular diseases; is there an interaction of exercise and dietary n-3 PUFA intake?

 Marko Stupin1, 2, 3,  Aleksandar Kibel1, 2, 3,  Ana Stupin1, 2, 4, Kristina Selthofer-Relatic2, 3, 5,  Anita Matic1, 2,  Martina Mihalj1, 2, 6,  Zrinka Mihaljevic1, 2,  Ivana Jukic1, 2 and  Ines Drenjančević1, 2*
  • 1Institute and Department of Physiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek, Croatia
  • 2Croatian National Scientific Center of Excellence for Personalized Health Care, Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek, Croatia
  • 3Department for Cardiovascular Disease, Osijek Clinical Hospital Center, Croatia
  • 4Department of Pathophysiology, Physiology and Immunology, Other, Croatia
  • 5Department for Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek, Croatia
  • 6Department of Dermatology, Osijek Clinical Hospital Center, Croatia

Physical activity has a beneficial effect on systemic hemodynamics, physical strength and cardiac function in cardiovascular (CV) patients. Potential beneficial effects of dietary intake of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs), such as α‐linolenic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid, and docosahexaenoic acid on hemorheology, vascular function, inflammation and potential to improve physical performance as well as other CV parameters are currently investigated. Recent meta-analysis suggests no effect of n-3 PUFA supplementation on CV function and outcomes of CV diseases. On the other hand, some studies support beneficial effects of n-3 PUFAs dietary intake on CV and muscular system, as well as on immune responses in healthy and in CV patients. Furthermore, the interaction of exercise and dietary n-3 PUFA intake is understudied.
Supplementation of n-3 PUFAs has been shown to have antithrombotic effects (by decreasing blood viscosity, decreasing coagulation factor and PAI-1 levels and platelet aggregation/reactivity, enhancing fibrinolysis, but without effects on erythrocyte deformability). They decrease inflammation by decreasing IL-6, MCP-1, TNFα and hsCRP levels, expression of endothelial cell adhesion molecules and significantly affect blood composition of fatty acids. Treatment with n-3 PUFAs enhances brachial artery blood flow and conductance during exercise and enhances microvascular post occlusive hyperemic response in healthy humans, however, the effects are unknown in cardiovascular patients.
Supplementation of n-3 PUFAs may improve anaerobic endurance and may modulate oxygen consumption during intense exercise, may increase metabolic capacity, enhance endurance capacity delaying the onset of fatigue, and improving muscle hypertrophy and neuromuscular function in humans and animal models. In addition, n-3 PUFAs have anti-inflammatory and anti-nociceptive effects and may attenuate delayed-onset muscle soreness and muscle stiffness, and preserve joint mobility.
On the other hand, effects of n-3 PUFAs were variably observed in men and women and they vary depending on dietary protocol, type of supplementation and type of sports activity undertaken, both in healthy and cardiovascular patients.
In this review we will discuss the physiological effects of n-3 PUFA intake and exercise on hemorheology, microvascular function, immunomodulation and inflammation and physical performance in healthy persons and in cardiovascular diseases; elucidating if there is an interaction of exercise and diet.

Keywords: Omega-3 supplementation, n-3 PUFA, Exercise, Functional Food, cardiovascular, healthy, vascular, Endothelium, Inflammation, Hemorheology, Muscle, Microcirculation

Received: 30 Apr 2019; Accepted: 16 Aug 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Stupin, Kibel, Stupin, Selthofer-Relatic, Matic, Mihalj, Mihaljevic, Jukic and Drenjančević. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Ines Drenjančević, Faculty of Medicine, Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek, Institute and Department of Physiology and Immunology, Osijek, 31000, Osijek, Croatia, ines.drenjancevic@mefos.hr