Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


Risks and benefits of omega 3 fats for mortality, cardiovascular disease, and cancer: systematic review

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: (Published 30 March 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:752

Rapid Response:

Heart disease, blood flow and omega-3 fatty acids.

The Hooper et al meta-analysis has generated many rapid reponses, yet
not one responder has referred to what specific role omega-3 fatty acids
play in reducing the risk of heart disease.
Eicosapentaenoic acid improves the flow properties of blood and lowers
blood viscosity by increasing the fluidity of the red cell membrane, thus
improving red cell deformability and enhancing capillary blood flow.
Until the importance of the physical properties of red cells in blood flow
are recognised, it is unlikely that the benefits of those agents which
improve red cell deformability will gain general acceptance. Nor will the
role of omega-3 fatty acids be understood.

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

31 March 2006
Leslie O Simpson.
retired medical research worker
Dunedin, New Zealand, 9001