Importance of "health foods", EPA and DHA, for preventive medicine

Kazunaga Yazawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The "lifestyle-related disease" has been increasing in Japan as the population advances in age and the food culture becomes westernized. Although prevention, treatment and therapy for this disease have been attempted using certain kinds of food and nutritive elements, so-called "health foods" such as DHA and EPA, which are mostly contained in fish oil, have been a special focus within these attempts. There have been many reports regarding the pharmacological functions and the mechanisms of DHA and EPA. Also, in the past few years, it has become possible to produce ingestible DHA and EPA oils, oils for chemical compounds, oils for animal feed, and highly purified DHA and EPA for medical and pharmaceutical use. EPA ethyl ester has a wide market as a preventive medicine in Japan. Initially in 1990, this medicine was administered in cases of arterisclerosis obliterans, using its anti-platelet aggregation ability. Four years later, in 1994, its effectiveness in triglyceride reduction was recognized, and its application was extended to cases of hyperlipidemia, which has remarkably broadened its market. Clinical studies with DHA have shown improvement in senile dementia (cerebral thrombosis, Alzheimer's disease), atopic dermatitis, and the ability to focus on moving objects, as well as control of aggressiveness against others caused by stress, and prevention of hyperlipidemia, hypertension, and cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-253
Number of pages5
JournalRinsho byori. The Japanese journal of clinical pathology
Volume52
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes

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