An update on the role of omega-3 fatty acids on inflammatory and degenerative diseases

Abstract

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.

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Correspondence to María J. Moreno-Aliaga.

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Lorente-Cebrián, S., Costa, A.G.V., Navas-Carretero, S. et al. An update on the role of omega-3 fatty acids on inflammatory and degenerative diseases. J Physiol Biochem 71, 341–349 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13105-015-0395-y

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Keywords

  • Omega-3
  • n-3 LC-PUFAs
  • Inflammatory diseases
  • Neurodegenerative diseases