Inflammation can be a sign of omega-3 deficiency, research finds.
Consuming oily fish like salmon, trout, sardines, mackerel, herring and fish oil supplements can lower inflammation.
Previous studies have suggested that a high intake of oily fish (fatty fish) can reduce several disorders.
Researchers from the Norwegian University are adding more weight to the importance of omega-3.
They show that omega-3 fatty acids can lower dangerous inflammatory responses in our body.
Our immune system produces inflammation to protect the body from infections like the common cold, throat, ear infections and so on.
But when the inflammation is too strong, this can lead to developing inflammation-related diseases and autoimmune disorders.
Prolonged inflammation results in life-threatening conditions such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, chronic inflammatory bowel diseases, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease and diabetes-related injuries.
Omega-3 fatty acids are healthy fats that have anti-inflammatory properties, consequently they are able to dampen inflammatory responses in the body.
White blood cells are an important part of our immune system as they can locate foreign particles such as microbes and cancer cells and eat them.
These cells monitor everything in our body and use the information that they gain from different receptors or sensors in order to stimulate inflammatory responses.
The white blood cells ability to manage inflammatory reactions relies on different processes and one is “self-eating”.
Autophagy or “self-eating” is vital for whether a white blood cell is too active or not since it is cleaning out the cells that are damaged and dysfunctional.
Omega-3 appears to change autophagy in white blood cells and can reduce activation of inflammatory reactions.
Omega-3 also reduces the responses related to proteins that are involved in regulating immune system activities.
Therefore, supplementation of omega-3 fatty acids can help patients with different forms of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, meningitis, Alzheimer’s, infectious disease or even jaundice.
About the author
Mina Dean is a Nutritionist and Food Scientist. She holds a BSc in Human Nutrition and an MSc in Food Science.
The study was published in the journal of Autophagy (Mildenberger et al., 2017).