Posts Tagged ‘anti inflammatory foods’

Omega-3 research sheds light on inflammation trigger

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

BBSRC-funded scientists at the University of Birmingham have discovered a previously unknown step in early inflammation which is controlled by omega –3 and omega –6 fatty acids, potentially leading to clarification around conflicting health and diet advice on these two essential nutrients.

Dr Ed Rainger, from the Centre for Cardiovascular Sciences at the University, has discovered that a key product in the metabolism of omega –6 fatty acids is an essential signal for neutrophils (white blood cells that form an essential part of the immune system) to cross the endothelium, the thin layer of cells that line the interior surface of blood vessels, to work on inflammation.

Dr Rainger says the findings of the study, funded by BBSRC and the British Heart Foundation, will open up new possibilities: “The identification of these novel mechanisms by which inflammation is regulated may allow us to develop new therapies to intervene when the process of inflammation becomes pathological rather than physiological.”

These latest discoveries bolster the evidence that fish oils have anti-inflammatory effects in addition to other health benefits. Dr Rainger and his team have revealed new steps in the body’s response to tackling inflammation which researchers hope will lead to designing potential new drugs to tackle severe and chronic disease such as rheumatoid arthritis.

The team also found that the migration of neutrophils could be blocked by the increased levels of omega -3 generated after the endothelial cells had been supplemented with this omega –3 fatty acid.

Dr Rainger and his team conducted the study using a realistic, flow based system that models the process of inflammation at the interface of the circulating blood and inflamed tissue. They were then able to observe the effects of physiological levels of omega –3 and omega –6 fatty acids on the process of recruiting inflammatory blood cells such as neutrophils into the tissue. This process is regulated by endothelial cells lining the blood vessels.

Dr Ed Rainger, said: “Our findings are very significant. They support the idea that omega–6 fatty acids are pro-inflammatory – that they are required to sustain a normal inflammatory response without which we would be prone to serious infection and tissue damage.”

Conversely, Dr Rainger has uncovered mechanistic evidence that supports the anti-inflammatory role of omega -3 fatty acids: “We’ve all heard about the health benefits of eating oily fish, and its beneficial effects on cardiovascular health, possibly due to their anti inflammatory properties, yet little is known about the normal cellular mechanisms by which omega –3 fatty acids produce their protective effects.”

Nutritionists believe that imbalances in omega –3 and –6 – may explain the rise of diseases such as asthma, coronary heart disease, cancers, autoimmunity and neurodegenerative diseases, all of which are believed to stem from inflammation in the body.

Paper: Fatty acids and Inflammation: novel interactions reveal a new step in neutrophil recruitment is published in PLoS Biology on 25 August.

Omega 3 Fish Oil EPA and DHA reduce anxiety and inflammation in healthy students

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

Omega-3 Reduces Anxiety and Inflammation in Healthy Students,
A new study gauging the impact of consuming more fish oil showed a marked reduction both in inflammation and, surprisingly, in anxiety among a cohort of healthy young people.

The findings suggest that if young participants can get such improvements from specific dietary supplements, then the elderly and people at high risk for certain diseases might benefit even more.
The findings by a team of researchers at Ohio State University were just published in the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity. It is the latest from more than three decades of research into links between psychological stress and immunity.
Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), have long been considered as positive additives to the diet. Earlier research suggested that the compounds might play a role in reducing the level of cytokines in the body, compounds that promote inflammation, and perhaps even reduce depression.
Psychological stress has repeatedly been shown to increase cytokine production so the researchers wondered if increasing omega-3 might mitigate that process, reducing inflammation.
To test their theory, they turned to a familiar group of research subjects — medical students. Some of the earliest work these scientists did showed that stress from important medical school tests lowered students’ immune status.
“We hypothesized that giving some students omega-3 supplements would decrease their production of proinflammatory cytokines, compared to other students who only received a placebo,” explained Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, professor of psychology and psychiatry.
“We thought the omega-3 would reduce the stress-induced increase in cytokines that normally arose from nervousness over the tests.”
The team assembled a field of 68 first- and second-year medical students who volunteered for the clinical trial. The students were randomly divided into six groups, all of which were interviewed six times during the study. At each visit, blood samples were drawn from the students who also completed a battery of psychological surveys intended to gauge their levels of stress, anxiety or depression. The students also completed questionnaires about their diets during the previous weeks.
Half the students received omega-3 supplements while the other half were given placebo pills.
“The supplement was probably about four or five times the amount of fish oil you’d get from a daily serving of salmon, for example,” explained Martha Belury, professor of human nutrition and co-author in the study.
Part of the study, however, didn’t go according to plans.
Changes in the medical curriculum and the distribution of major tests throughout the year, rather than during a tense three-day period as was done in the past, removed much of the stress that medical students had shown in past studies.
“These students were not anxious. They weren’t really stressed. They were actually sleeping well throughout this period, so we didn’t get the stress effect we had expected,” Kiecolt-Glaser said.
But the psychological surveys clearly showed an important change in anxiety among the students: Those receiving the omega-3 showed a 20 percent reduction in anxiety compared to the placebo group.
An analysis of the of the blood samples from the medical students showed similar important results.
“We took measurements of the cytokines in the blood serum, as well as measured the productivity of cells that produced two important cytokines, interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFa),” said Ron Glaser, professor of molecular virology, immunology & medical genetics and director of the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research.
“We saw a 14 percent reduction in the amounts of IL-6 among the students receiving the omega-3.” Since the cytokines foster inflammation, “anything we can do to reduce cytokines is a big plus in dealing with the overall health of people at risk for many diseases,” he said.
While inflammation is a natural immune response that helps the body heal, it also can play a harmful role in a host of diseases ranging from arthritis to heart disease to cancer.

Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) as an anti-inflammatory: an alternative to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for discogenic pain.

Saturday, July 9th, 2011

Abstract
BACKGROUND:
The use of NSAID medications is a well-established effective therapy for both acute and chronic nonspecific neck and back pain. Extreme complications, including gastric ulcers, bleeding, myocardial infarction, and even deaths, are associated with their use. An alternative treatment with fewer side effects that also reduces the inflammatory response and thereby reduces pain is believed to be omega-3 EFAs found in fish oil specifically EPA. We report our experience in a neurosurgical practice using fish oil supplements for pain relief.

METHODS:
From March to June , 250 patients who had been seen by a neurosurgeon and were found to have nonsurgical neck or back pain were asked to take a total of 1200 mg per day of omega-3 EFAs (eicosapentaenoic acid and DHA )found in fish oil supplements. A questionnaire was sent approximately 1 month after starting the supplement.

RESULTS:
Of the 250 patients, 125 returned the questionnaire at an average of 75 days on fish oil. Seventy-eight percent were taking 1200 mg and 22% were taking 2400 mg of EFAs. Fifty-nine percent discontinued to take their prescription NSAID medications for pain. Sixty percent stated that their overall pain was improved, and 60% stated that their joint pain had improved. Eighty percent stated they were satisfied with their improvement, and 88% stated they would continue to take the fish oil. There were no significant side effects reported.

CONCLUSIONS:
Our results mirror other controlled studies that compared ibuprofen and omega-3 EFAs demonstrating equivalent effect in reducing arthritic pain. omega-3 EFA fish oil supplements appear to be a safer alternative to NSAIDs for treatment of nonsurgical neck or back pain in this selective group.
Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Omega 3 stronger than any other anti inflammatory

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

GPR120 Is an Omega-3 Fatty Acid Receptor Mediating Potent Anti-inflammatory and Insulin-Sensitizing Effects”

Omega-3s may reduce inflammation by acting on a receptor found in fat tissue and on inflammatory immune cells called macrophages, according to research.

The new research published in the journal Cell, suggests the mechanisms behind omega-3’s actions as an anti-inflammatory are due to its action on G-protein-coupled receptor 120 (GPR120) working as an omega-3  FA receptor/sensor.

“Omega-3s are very potent activators of GPR120 on macrophages – more potent than any other anti-inflammatory we’ve ever seen,” said lead researcher Dr Jerrold Olefsky of the University of California, San Diego.

Anti-inflammatory

Omega-3 fatty acids have been long associated with anti-inflammatory effects; however the mechanisms behind such effects have been poorly understood.

GPR120 is a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCRs) – part of a group involved in many important cell functions, and is the target of many drugs.

Previous research has suggested that five GPCRs – including GPR120 included – respond well respond to free fatty acids.

Since chronic tissue inflammation is linked to insulin resistance in obesity, the researchers used GPR120 knock-out mice to investigate if omega-3 leads to GPR120-mediated anti-inflammatory and insulin sensitizing effects in vivo.

Robust effect

Researchers found that GPR120 functions as an omega-3 receptor in pro-inflammatory macrophages and mature adipocytes.

When knock-out mice were fed a high-fat diet and treated with omega-3 fatty acids, they showed all the signs of inflammation and the insulin resistance that leads to diabetes with omega-3 having no effect.

Normal mice on a high-fat diet still gained weight, however, omega-3s “had a really robust effect in preventing inflammation,” Olefsky said.

The study also observed that by signalling through GPR120, omega-3 fatty acids mediate potent anti-inflammatory effects to inhibit certain key inflammatory signaling pathways.

The study reports that omega-3 treatment was as effective – or in some cases more effective – than the popular insulin-sensitizing drug Rosiglitazone.

The researchers noted that activation of GPR120 by omega-3s blocks not one, but all inflammatory pathways.

Interpretation

Olefsky said his team focused on GPR120 from the beginning because of where it is found – in fat tissue and on macrophages. Olefsky noted that if your goal is to fight inflammation then “that’s just where you’d want them to be expressed.”

How these findings can be interpreted for humans is not yet clear, but with a growing trend in omega-3 supplementation and increased dietary intakes of omega-3 a goal for many consumers.

Olefski says it is too early to make any formal reccomendations at the moment, but highlights that he does not see any problem with people taking omega-3 supplementations “as long as it isn’t in enormous doses.”

Olefski said that further research needs to be conducted into several – currently unknown – omega-3 mechanisms. For one, omega-3s seems to block the migration of macrophage cells into tissues – “It’s a remarkable effect, and we don’t know its action,” he added.

Source: Cell

Vol 142(5) pp. 687 – 698, doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2010.07.041

“GPR120 Is an Omega-3 Fatty Acid Receptor Mediating Potent Anti-inflammatory and Insulin-Sensitizing Effects”


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