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Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Cardiovascular Health

Penny M. Kris-Etherton PhD, RD, Kari D. Hecker PhD, RD, Amy E. Binkoski RD
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1753-4887.2004.tb00013.x 414-426 First published online: 1 November 2004


Epidemiologic studies have shown a beneficial association between polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA), specifically linoleic acid (C18:2, n-6), intake and cardiovascular disease morbidity and mortality. Clinical studies have shown that n-6 PUFAs have the most potent cholesterol-lowering effects of the individual fatty acid classes, and emerging evidence suggests that PUFAs have favorable effects on postprandial lipemia. However, some studies suggest that high intakes of linoleic acid may have adverse effects on proinflammatory cytokines and adhesion molecules. Research is needed to establish the optimal level of dietary PUFAs that maximally affects the greatest number of health risk factors.

  • Polyunsaturated fat
  • linoleic acid
  • cardiovascular disease
  • dietary fat

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