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Cardiology Research and Practice
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 729670, 11 pages
Review Article

Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Vitamin D in Cardiology

1Department of Cardiology and Angiology, University Hospital Giessen, 35390 Giessen, Germany
2Department of Radiology, Bezmialem University of Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey
3Department of Cardiology, University of Giessen, 35390 Giessen, Germany
4Department of Internal Medicine, University of Giessen, 35390 Giessen, Germany
5Department of Cardiac Surgery, University of Giessen, 35390 Giessen, Germany
6Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, University Hospital Giessen, 35390 Giessen, Germany

Received 17 April 2012; Revised 15 August 2012; Accepted 7 September 2012

Academic Editor: Hugo ten Cate

Copyright © 2012 Norbert Güttler et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Dietary modification and supplementation play an increasingly important role in the conservative treatment of cardiovascular disease. Current interest has focused on n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and vitamin D. Clinical trial results on this subject are contradictory in many aspects. Several studies indicate that n-3 PUFA consumption improves vascular and cardiac hemodynamics, triglycerides, and possibly endothelial function, autonomic control, inflammation, thrombosis, and arrhythmia. Experimental studies show effects on membrane structure and associated functions, ion channel properties, genetic regulation, and production of anti-inflammatory mediators. Clinical trials evaluating a possible reduction in cardiovascular disease by n-3 PUFA have shown different results. Supplementation of vitamin D is common regarding prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. But vitamin D also seems to have several effects on the cardiovascular system. Vitamin D deficiency appears to be related to an increase in parathyroid hormone levels and can predispose to essential hypertension and left ventricular hypertrophy, increased insulin resistance, and eventually to atherosclerosis and adverse cardiovascular events. Randomized prospective clinical trials are needed to determine whether vitamin D and omega-3 FA supplementation therapy should be recommended as a routine therapy for primary or secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease.