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Does fish oil help immunity?

In a nutshell

LCPUFA affect immunity via several mechanisms. In general the effect of increasing ω-3 EFA intake is to decrease inflammation and enhance T cell immune response.

This has potential application for immune development in infants and immunotherapy of patients with acute, severe illness and post-surgical recovery.

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References

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1. Simopoulos, AP. Omega-3 fatty acids in inflammation and autoimmune diseases. J Am Coll Nutr. 2002 Dec;21(6):495505.
2. Calder, PC. n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, inflammation, and inflammatory diseases. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Jun;83(6 Suppl):1505S1519S.
3. Cunningham-Rundles, S. Is the fatty acid composition of immune cells the key to normal variations in human immune response? Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 May;77(5):1096–7.
4. Calder, PC. et al. Fatty acids and lymphocyte functions. Br J Nutr. 2002 Jan;87 Suppl 1:S31–48.
5. Shaikh, SR. et al. Polyunsaturated fatty acids, membrane organization, T cells, and antigen presentation. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Dec;84(6):1277–89.
6. Das, UN. Can perinatal supplementation of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids prevent atopy, bronchial asthma and other inflammatory conditions? Med Sci Monit. 2006 Jun;12(6):RA99–111.
7. Harbige, LS. Fatty acids, the immune response, and autoimmunity: a question of n-6 essentiality and the balance between n-6 and n-3. Lipids. 2003 Apr;38(4):323–41.
8. Enke, U. et al. Impact of PUFA on early immune and fetal development. Br J Nutr. 2008 Jun 30:111.
9. Field, CJ. et al. Polyunsaturated fatty acids and T-cell function: implications for the neonate. Lipids. 2001 Sep;36(9):1025–32.
10. Prescott, SL. et al. Prenatal fatty acid status and immune development: the pathways and the evidence. Lipids. 2007 Sep;42(9):801–10.
11. Stephensen, CB. et al. The innate immune system: friend and foe. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Feb;83(2):187–8.
12. Krauss-Etschmann, S. et al. Decreased cord blood IL-4, IL-13, and CCR4 and increased TGF-beta levels after fish oil supplementation of pregnant women. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2008 Feb;121(2):464470.
13. Hamazaki, K. et al. The effects of docosahexaenoic acid-rich fish oil on behavior, school attendance rate and malaria infection in school children--a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial in Lampung, Indonesia. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2008;17(2):258–63.
14. Gold, DR. et al. Associations of cord blood fatty acids with lymphocyte proliferation, IL-13, and IFN-gamma. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2006 Apr;117(4):931–8.
15. Akabas, SR. et al. Summary of a workshop on n-3 fatty acids: current status of recommendations and future directions. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Jun;83(6 Suppl):1536S1538S.
16. Dubnov-Raz, G. et al. Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation during pregnancy: for mother, baby, or neither? Can Fam Physician. 2007 May;53(5):817–8.
17. Calder, PC. n-3 fatty acids, inflammation, and immunity--relevance to postsurgical and critically ill patients. Lipids. 2004 Dec;39(12):1147–61.
18. Wang, X. et al. Omega-3 fatty acids-supplemented parenteral nutrition decreases hyperinflammatory response and attenuates systemic disease sequelae in severe acute pancreatitis: a randomized and controlled study. JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 2008 May-Jun;32(3):236–41.
19. Cerchietti, LC. et al. Effects of eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic n-3 fatty acids from fish oil and preferential Cox-2 inhibition on systemic syndromes in patients with advanced lung cancer. Nutr Cancer. 2007;59(1):1420.
20. Mayer, K. et al. Omega-3 vs. omega-6 lipid emulsions exert differential influence on neutrophils in septic shock patients: impact on plasma fatty acids and lipid mediator generation. Intensive Care Med. 2003 Sep;29(9):1472–81.
21. Heller, AR. et al. Omega-3 fatty acids improve the diagnosis-related clinical outcome. Crit Care Med. 2006 Apr;34(4):972–9.

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