Hypercoagulability plays a key role in the progression of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Although omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) intake has been inversely related to the risk of cardiovascular events, the mechanisms are not fully understood.
The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of omega-3 on novel markers of global coagulation. The generation of fibrin and thrombin, measured via overall hemostasis potential (OHP) assay and calibrated automated thrombography, respectively, was determined in 40 healthy subjects and 16 patients with CVD at baseline and after 4 weeks of 640 mg/day omega-3 PUFA.
In healthy subjects, fibrin generation was significantly reduced, as measured by overall coagulation potential (p = 0.013), OHP (p < 0.001), velocity of fibrin polymerization (p = 0.002), and significant increase in delay to fibrin generation (p = 0.002). The peak of generated thrombin was significantly reduced (p = 0.043). In subjects with CVD, omega-3 PUFA significantly reduced OHP and significantly increased the lag time to thrombin generation (both p < 0.001). Treatment with omega-3 PUFA had no effect on other fibrin and thrombin generation parameters in CVD patients.
Four-week omega-3 PUFA supplementation reduced thrombotic potential in healthy subjects, as shown by reduced fibrin generation and peak thrombin. There was a greater effect on fibrin generation in healthy subjects compared with those with CVD.
McEwen BJ et al. The effect of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on fibrin and thrombin generation in healthy subjects and subjects with cardiovascular disease. Semin Thromb Hemost. 2015 Apr;41(3):315-22. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25703517)