Omega-3 fatty acids and human health: it's all about dose

IMB Distinguished Seminar by Professor Philip Calder

Philip Calder - Professor of Nutritional Immunology within Medicine at the University of Southampton, UK

About the lecture

A large body of evidence supports the cardioprotective effects of the long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Therefore there is an increasing interest in the independent effects of EPA and DHA in the modulation of cardiometabolic risk factors. Both EPA and DHA have been shown to lower triglyceride concentration, with DHA having a greater triglyceride-lowering effect whereas the effect on total cholesterol levels seems to be more neutral. DHA seemed to increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol concentration, particularly HDL₂, and LDL cholesterol concentration and LDL particle size.

The effects of EPA and DHA on inflammatory markers and glycaemic control on the other hand are so far inconclusive; however EPA and DHA appear to have somewhat differential effects on cardiometabolic risk factors. Despite the previous evidence, recent meta-analyses have questioned the cardiometabolic effects of omega-3 fatty acids and more studies are therefore needed.

About the speaker

Philip Calder has broad research interests in nutritional modulation of immunity, inflammation and cardiometabolic disease risk. Much of his work has been devoted to exploring the metabolism and functionality of fatty acids with an emphasis on the roles of omega-3 fatty acids. He has over 500 scientific publications and is listed by Thomson Reuters as a Highly Cited Researcher. He has been awarded the Sir David Cuthbertson Medal by the Nutrition Society (1995), the Belgian Danone Institute Chair (2004), the Nutricia International Award (2007), the ESPEN Cuthbertson Lecture (2008), the New Zealand Nutrition Society’s Muriel Bell Award (2009), the Louisiana State University Chancellor’s Award in Neuroscience and Medicine (2011), the German Society for Fat Science Normann Medal (2012), the American Oil Chemists’ Society Ralph Holman Lifetime Achievement Award (2015), the British Association for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition Pennington Lecture (2015), the British Nutrition Foundation prize (2015) and the Danone International Prize in Nutrition (2016). He has served on many committees of professional societies and was for three years President of the International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (2009-2012). He is currently Chair of the Scientific Committee of the European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN) and President of the Nutrition Society. More information here


The Distinguished Seminar Series

The Institute of Basic Medical Sciences invites leading scientists and scholars to give lectures based on their field of study. 


Published May 15, 2018 1:32 PM - Last modified May 16, 2018 10:51 AM