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Omega 3s and platelets

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Study suggests the right dietary fat could help boost platelet counts

A study led by Kellie Machlus, Ph.D., and Maria Barrachina, Ph.D., in the Vascular Biology Program at Boston Children's Hospital, found they could raise platelet counts in mice by feeding them polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) like those found in the Mediterranean diet.

"We found that PUFAs are enriched in megakaryocytes, especially right before they begin making platelets," says Machlus. "We think they provide the fluidity necessary for the membrane to move and reshape."

Serendipitously, the researchers were able to connect the dots to humans. Through a colleague in the U.K., they identified a family in which several members had a mutation in the CD36 gene. Those affected had low platelet counts and, in the mother's case, bleeding episodes.

While Machlus thinks it may be worth encouraging patients with thrombocytopenia to consume more olive oil to increase PUFA levels, she recognizes that a drug treatment may be more practical.




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8 hours ago, Mike Lustgarten said:

Olive oil is a MUFA, not PUFA, so I'm not sure why that was mentioned in the article. Also, I didn't see the PUFA content of the diet in the paper, which is disappointing.

Yep, what Mike says. Olive oil is mostly MUFA, and in fact, it has more saturated fats than PUFAs.

MedicalExpress writers are not the most knowledgeable or the brightest in the business...

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