Omega-3 Fish Oils and Rheumatoid Arthritis
Author: Queen Mary University of London
Synopsis and Key Points:
Precisely why taking fish oils can help with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.
Main DigestNew research from Queen Mary, University of London and Harvard Medical School has revealed precisely why taking fish oils can help with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.
In a paper published in Nature today*, researchers describe how the body converts an ingredient found in fish oils into another chemical called Resolvin D2 and how this chemical reduces the inflammation that leads to a variety of diseases.
The research also suggests that Resolvin D2 could be the basis for a new treatment for diseases including sepsis, stroke and arthritis. Unlike other anti-inflammatory drugs, this chemical does not seem to suppress the immune system.
The researchers, who were funded by the Arthritis Research Campaign, the Wellcome Trust and the National Institutes of Health, looked at a particular ingredient of fish oils called DHA. They were able to show how the body converts DHA into Resolvin D2 and discover its exact chemical structure.
Mauro Perretti, Professor of Immuno-pharmacology at Queen Mary, University of London, led the UK team. He said: "We have known for some time that fish oils can help with conditions like arthritis which are linked to inflammation. What we've shown here is how the body processes a particular ingredient of fish oils into Resolvin D2. We've also looked in detail at this chemical, determining at least some of the ways it relieves inflammation. It seems to be a very powerful chemical and a small amount can have a large effect."
"This research is important because it explains at least one way in which fish oils can help in different types of arthritis. We can also work on this chemical and see if it can be used not only to treat or even prevent arthritis, but also as a possible treatment for a variety of other diseases associated with inflammation."
Arthritis, and many other diseases, are caused by inflammation. This means that the body's natural defenses against infections are mistakenly directed at healthy tissue.
Previous research has shown that a crucial step in this process occurs when white blood cells, called leukocytes, stick to the inner lining of the blood vessels, called the endothelium.
Researchers studied these blood cells and how they interact with the endothelium in the lab. When they added Resolvin D2 they found that the endothelial cells produced small amounts of nitric oxide, which acts as a chemical signal discouraging the white blood cells from sticking to the endothelial cells and preventing inflammation.
Resolvin D2 is a potent regulator of leukocytes and controls microbial sepsis, Spite et al, Nature, DOI: 10.1038/nature08541
- 1 - Is Genetically Modified Soybean Oil Healthy? : University of California - Riverside (2015/03/09)
- 2 - Including Canola Oil in Diet May Cut Belly Fat : Victoria M. Indivero - Pennsylvania State University (2016/11/02)
- 3 - Status of Fish Oil with Regards to Purity : Dr. Dave's Best (2010/04/02)
- 4 - Delaying Fat Digestion to Curb Appetite : Norwich BioScience Institutes (2010/08/19)
- 5 - High Omega-6 Fatty Acid Levels Can Protect Against Premature Death : University of Eastern Finland (2018/04/01)
- 6 - Omega-3 from Fish Better Than from Flax for Cancer Prevention : University of Guelph (2018/01/27)
- 7 - Eat Fat and Live Longer - High Fat Diet Increases Longevity and Strength : University of California - Davis (2017/09/14)
• Disabled World is strictly a news and information website provided for general informational purpose only and does not constitute medical advice. Materials presented are in no way meant to be a substitute for professional medical care by a qualified practitioner, nor should they be construed as such. Any 3rd party offering or advertising on disabled-world.com does not constitute endorsement by Disabled World.