Omega-3 Benefits: Omega-3 in Inflammatory Processes

Omega-3 Benefits in Inflammatory Processes

Inflammation is an essential physiological process for maintaining homeostasis and tissue recovery after injury or infection. However, prolonged inflammation can be harmful and lead to tissue destruction. If after the inflammatory response, the aggression heals, normal homeostatic functions in the tissues are restored; when the acute inflammatory process is not resolved, the process becomes chronic.(1)

Novel substances have been identified, produced by enzymes from, firstly, eicosapentaenoic acid (omega-3 EPA), E-series resolvins, and, secondly, docosahexaenoic acid (omega-3 DHA), D-series resolvins and D1 protectin. These substances, resolvins and protectins, are compounds with actions that resolve inflammatory processes: they exhibit significant anti-inflammatory and immunoregulatory properties; they are potent endogenous anti-inflammation agonists and chemical mediators that favour resolution, lessening the inflammation and lesion mediated by the polymorphonuclear (PMN) granulocytes, involved in many of the most frequent human diseases.(2)

Periodontitis and Omega-3

In periodontitis, although adequate pharmacological management of acute inflammation can prevent tissue damage, inadequate resolution and subsequent failure of the tissue to return to homeostasis produces its destruction (mediated by neutrophils) and chronic inflammation. Resolvins and protectins stimulate resolution of the inflammation. Resolvin E1 not only protects from inflammation-induced alveolar bone loss(3), but also induces restoration of the bone loss.(4)

Inflammatory intestinal disease and Omega-3

Inflammatory response mediators (interleukin (IL) 1 and 6 and tumour necrosis factor a (TNF-a)) play a key role in the development of inflammatory intestinal disease, thus these mediators are one of the targets of pharmacological therapy.(5,6) Although current treatments for inflammatory intestinal disease are effective in reducing relapses, they can generate long-term secondary effects, in particular, a decrease in immune response.(7) The effects of long-chain Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs) in reducing concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines show that these molecules are important in treating intestinal inflammatory disease.(8) Studies of animals with inflammatory intestinal disease have shown that Omega-3 LC-PUFAs can substantially reduce the production of PGE2, TNF-a, LTB4 and TXA2.(9, 10)


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