Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Risk of Ischemic Stroke

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Ischemic stroke is a major cause of death and morbidity worldwide. It has been suggested that polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) may be associated with a lower risk ischemic stroke, but this has been far less studied than their role for coronary heart disease. In this paper, we summarize the main findings from previous follow-up studies investigating associations between intake or biomarkers of the major PUFAs including alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), marine n-3 PUFAs and linoleic acid (LA) and the development of ischemic stroke. Several follow-up studies have suggested that marine n-3 PUFAs may be associated with a lower risk of ischemic stroke although results have not been consistent and limited knowledge exist on the individual marine n-3 PUFAs and ischemic stroke and its subtypes. The role of ALA is less clear, but most studies have not supported that ALA is appreciably associated with ischemic stroke risk. Some studies have supported that LA might be associated with a lower risk of total ischemic stroke, while limited evidence exist on PUFAs and ischemic stroke subtypes. The associations may depend on the macronutrients that PUFAs replace and this substitution aspect together with focus on dietary patterns represent interesting areas for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1467
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


  • Biomarkers
  • Ischemic stroke
  • Observational prospective studies
  • Polyunsaturated fatty acids


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