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PISCES

Effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Ambient Air Pollution Exposure in Healthy Adults

This project aims to examine whether two essential omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) would modify associations between multiple ambient air pollutants and biomarkers of respiratory and cardiovascular health.

PISCES

Effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Ambient Air Pollution Exposure in Healthy Adults

This project aims to examine whether two essential omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) would modify associations between multiple ambient air pollutants and biomarkers of respiratory and cardiovascular health.

Overview

Exposure to air pollution is a well-known risk factor for respiratory and cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Short-term exposure to air pollution may cause systemic and pulmonary oxidative stress and inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acids (n-3 FA) are involved in human physiology. Two main essential n-3 FA are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). EPA and DHA are mainly found in seafoods and fish oils. Dietary consumption of EPA and DHA has been shown to confer protection of the cardiovascular system via a reduction of inflammation. Previous studies have demonstrated that dietary supplementation with fish oil attenuates ambient particulate matter-mediated heart rate variability changes and endothelial dysfunction in middle-aged and elderly adults.

To examine the relationship between blood levels of dietary EPA and DHA and cardiopulmonary responses to environmental air pollution in healthy adults.

Healthy adults were recruited from the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area of North Carolina, U.S. They were pre-screened for their dietary intake of EPA and DHA. Qualified volunteers were divided into low (n=28) and high (n=34) omega-3 groups based on n-3 FA intake and erythrocytes n-3 FAs concentrations. They underwent three to five testing sessions between October 2016 and September 2019. At each session, blood pressure, heart rate variability, venous blood biomarkers, brachial artery diameter, retinal venule and arteriole diameter, and spirometry were measured.

 

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (funding period: 2016 – ongoing)

 

  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) –National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory (NHEERL), Environmental Public Health Division (EPHD): Haiyan Tong (PI), James Samet, Hao Chen
  • Helmholtz Zentrum München - Institute of Epidemiology: Alexandra Schneider, Susanne Breitner, Siqi Zhang

Exposure to air pollution is a well-known risk factor for respiratory and cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Short-term exposure to air pollution may cause systemic and pulmonary oxidative stress and inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acids (n-3 FA) are involved in human physiology. Two main essential n-3 FA are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). EPA and DHA are mainly found in seafoods and fish oils. Dietary consumption of EPA and DHA has been shown to confer protection of the cardiovascular system via a reduction of inflammation. Previous studies have demonstrated that dietary supplementation with fish oil attenuates ambient particulate matter-mediated heart rate variability changes and endothelial dysfunction in middle-aged and elderly adults.

To examine the relationship between blood levels of dietary EPA and DHA and cardiopulmonary responses to environmental air pollution in healthy adults.

Healthy adults were recruited from the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area of North Carolina, U.S. They were pre-screened for their dietary intake of EPA and DHA. Qualified volunteers were divided into low (n=28) and high (n=34) omega-3 groups based on n-3 FA intake and erythrocytes n-3 FAs concentrations. They underwent three to five testing sessions between October 2016 and September 2019. At each session, blood pressure, heart rate variability, venous blood biomarkers, brachial artery diameter, retinal venule and arteriole diameter, and spirometry were measured.

 

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (funding period: 2016 – ongoing)

 

  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) –National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory (NHEERL), Environmental Public Health Division (EPHD): Haiyan Tong (PI), James Samet, Hao Chen
  • Helmholtz Zentrum München - Institute of Epidemiology: Alexandra Schneider, Susanne Breitner, Siqi Zhang

Contact PI

Dr. Alexandra Schneider

Deputy Director of the Institute of Epidemiology, Head of Research Group 'Environmental Risks', Senior Scientist

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