An update on the role of omega-3 fatty acids on inflammatory and degenerative diseases
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- Lorente-Cebrián, S., Costa, A.G.V., Navas-Carretero, S. et al. J Physiol Biochem (2015) 71: 341. doi:10.1007/s13105-015-0395-y
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Inflammation is involved in the pathophysiology of many chronic diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and neurodegenerative diseases. Several studies have evidenced important anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties of omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LC-PUFAs). This review illustrates current knowledge about the efficacy of n-3 LC-PUFAs (eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), particularly) in preventing and/or treating several chronic inflammatory conditions (inflammatory bowel diseases and rheumatoid arthritis) as well as their potential benefits on neurodegenerative diseases. It is well established that n-3 LC-PUFAs are substrates for synthesis of novel series of lipid mediators (e.g., resolvins, protectins, and maresins) with potent anti-inflammatory and pro-resolving properties, which have been proposed to partly mediate the protective and beneficial actions of n-3 LC-PUFAs. Here, we briefly summarize current knowledge from preclinical studies analyzing the actions of EPA- and DHA-derived resolvins and protectins on pathophysiological models of rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer, and irritable bowel syndrome.