The relationship between diet and disease has long been established, with epidemiological and clinical evidence affirming the role of certain dietary fatty acid classes in disease pathogenesis. Within the same class, different fatty acids may exhibit beneficial or deleterious effects, with implications on disease progression or prevention. In conjunction with other fatty acids and lipids, the omega-3, -6 and -9 fatty acids make up the lipidome, and with the conversion and storage of excess carbohydrates into fats, transcendence of the glycome into the lipidome occurs. The essential omega-3 fatty acids are typically associated with initiating anti-inflammatory responses, while omega-6 fatty acids are associated with pro-inflammatory responses. Non-essential, omega-9 fatty acids serve as necessary components for other metabolic pathways, which may affect disease risk. These fatty acids which act as independent, yet synergistic lipid moieties that interact with other biomolecules within the cellular ecosystem epitomize the critical role of these fatty acids in homeostasis and overall health. This review focuses on the functional roles and potential mechanisms of omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids in regard to inflammation and disease pathogenesis. A particular emphasis is placed on cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States.
Citation:Johnson M, Bradford C (2014) Omega-3, Omega-6 and Omega-9 Fatty Acids: Implications for Cardiovascular and Other Diseases. J Glycomics Lipidomics 4:123.