F2-Isoprostanes (8-iso-PGF2a)

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F2-isoprostane 8-iso-PGF2aInflammation is a key component to many illnesses and diseases. The chemical cascade which produces inflammatory chemicals is called the Arachidonic Acid pathway. This pathway is so named because Arachidonic Acid is a key omega-6 fatty acid which goes through this pathway. When Arachidonic Acid undergoes peroxidation via free radical attack it creates F2-isoprostanes.

F2-Isoprostanes are a good marker to measure oxidative stress. Recall that oxidative stress is a key process in the development of CAD, diabetes, hypertension, and obesity. 8-iso-PGF2a seems to be the best chemical to measure in regards to risk for CAD.

These F2-isoprostanes do cause constriction of blood vessels, bronchi, GI tract, lymphatics, and uterus. This constriction decreases blood, fluid, and airflow restrictions. Additionally, the F2-isoprostanes stimulate mitogenesis, cell (monocytes and PMNs) adhesion to the endothelial lining, and fuel endothelial cell necrosis. All of these functions serve to reduce endothelial function and that is a bad thing. They appear to be both sensitive and specific for oxidative stress which, as stated above, is associated with many diseases.

F2-isoprostanes can become elevated with higher levels of red meat intake as well as lower levels of fitness and exercise. This makes them a good marker of lifestyle associated with CAD. Higher levels of F2-isoprostanes have been associated with increased risk of CAD. Women, in one study, with high levels of 8-iso-PGF2a had an 80% increased risk of dying from CAD or stroke.

In the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study, F2-isoprostanes were associated with coronary artery calcification (CAC). This finding was independent of other risk factors for CAD or CRP.

The bottom line is that higher levels of F2-isoprostanes appear to correlate well with cardiovascular disease risk and we want to reduce these risks as much as possible. So what can you do about it?

  1. Reduce cardiovascular disease risk by addressing all of the risk factors
    1. Good blood pressure control
    2. Lipid goals
    3. Increase cardiovascular conditioning
    4. Weight reduction & smoking cessation (as applicable)
  2. Platelet prophylaxis (low-dose aspirin) if no contraindications
  3. Omega-3 supplementation (>2 grams per day of EPA/DHA)