'Right' fat can keep your heart healthy
a new study claims that though excess of fat is not good for your heart, the right type of fat will help keeping it healthy.
Unsaturated dietary fatty acids, such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), are known to protect against cardiovascular diseases. However, the mechanism and the specific fat metabolites responsible for this protection were unknown.
Now, a group of Japanese scientists have shown that mice engineered to produce their own EPA were protected against heart disease and had improved cardiac function, which required a particular EPA metabolite called 18-hydroxyeicosapentaenoic acid (18-HEPE).
18-HEPE was produced by immune cells called macrophages, which dampened inflammation and fibrosis in the heart. Treatment with 18-HEPE confirmed its heart-protective effects.
A diet enriched in 18-HEPE might thus help prevent heart failure in patients with cardiovascular diseases.
The study is published in The Journal of Experimental Medicine.
(Posted on 22-07-2014)