, Volume 23, Issue 2–3, pp 79–89 | Cite as

Role of fish oil in human health and possible mechanism to reduce the inflammation

  • Mohammed S. ElluluEmail author
  • Huzwah Khaza’ai
  • Yehia Abed
  • Asmah Rahmat
  • Patimah Ismail
  • Yazan Ranneh


The roles of Omega-3 FAs are inflammation antagonists, while Omega-6 FAs are precursors for inflammation. The plant form of Omega-3 FAs is the short-chain α-linolenic acid, and the marine forms are the long-chain fatty acids: docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid. Omega-3 FAs have unlimited usages, and they are considered as omnipotent since they may benefit heart health, improve brain function, reduce cancer risks and improve people’s moods. Omega-3 FAs also have several important biological effects on a range of cellular functions that may decrease the onset of heart diseases and reduce mortality among patients with coronary heart disease, possibly by stabilizing the heart’s rhythm and by reducing blood clotting. Some review studies have described the beneficial roles of Omega-3 FAs in cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), cancer, diabetes, and other conditions, including inflammation. Studies of the effect of Omega-3 FAs gathered from studies in diseased and healthy population. CVDs including atherosclerosis, coronary heart diseases, hypertension, and metabolic syndrome were the major fields of investigation. In studies of obesity, as the central obesity increased, the level of adipocyte synthesis of pro-inflammatory cytokines like tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin 6 (IL-6) were increased and the level of anti-inflammatory adiponectin was decreased indicating a state of inflammation. The level of C reactive protein (CRP) synthesized from hepatocyte is increased by the influence of IL-6. CRP can be considered as a marker of systemic inflammation associated with increased risks of CVDs. In molecular studies, Omega-3 FAs have direct effects on reducing the inflammatory state by reducing IL-6, TNF-α, CRP and many other factors. While the appropriate dosage along with the administrative duration is not known, the scientific evidence-based recommendations for daily intake are not modified.


Omega-3 fatty acids Polyunsaturated fatty acids Inflammation Mechanism Metabolic syndrome Obesity Cardiovascular diseases Cancer Interleukin 6 C reactive protein 


Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no significant competing professional or personal interests that might influence the performance or presentation of the work described in this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Basel 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohammed S. Ellulu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Huzwah Khaza’ai
    • 2
  • Yehia Abed
    • 3
  • Asmah Rahmat
    • 1
  • Patimah Ismail
    • 2
  • Yazan Ranneh
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Faculty of Medicine and Health SciencesUniversiti Putra MalaysiaSerdangMalaysia
  2. 2.Department of Biomedical Science, Faculty of Medicine and Health SciencesUniversiti Putra MalaysiaSerdangMalaysia
  3. 3.Faculty of Public HealthAl Quds UniversityGazaPalestine

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