Stine Marie Ulven

Professor in nutrition at Department of Nutrition, University of Oslo, Norway

 

Stine M. Ulven is a professor in nutrition at Department of Nutrition, University Oslo Norway. She started her career as a post-doctoral fellow (2001-2004) focusing on molecular nutrition and the role of lipids as ligands for nuclear receptors involved in regulation of genes in lipid metabolism. Her group performs randomized controlled postprandial meal studies, and short and long term dietary intervention studies and applies large-scale datasets, such as gene expression profiling in white blood cells and plasma metabolome, to investigate the physiological and molecular mechanisms of fat intake on cardiometabolic risk markers.

 

Omega-3 fatty acids – still important for cardiovascular disease prevention?

Observational studies have very consistently shown that higher fish consumption is associated with lower risk of coronary heart disease morbidity and mortality. These beneficial effects are primarily mediated by the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). While older randomized controlled trials with omega-3 supplementation showed reduced risk of CVD morbidity and mortality, contradictory results exists with trials that are more recently performed. Questions have therefore been raised if EPA and DHA play a role in primary and secondary prevention of coronary heart disease. In this presentation, differences in study designs including dosage of EPA and DHA, baseline triglyceride levels, use of lipid lowering drugs, and background diet in the published trials will be discussed. In particular, I will focus on the large inter-individual variability in plasma triglyceride response to omega-3 fatty acids, and how gene expression profiling can be used in order to understand why some respond better to omega-3 intervention than others.