advertisement
27 July 2007

Fish oil fights inflammation

Fish oil cuts down on a key inflammatory chemical, study finds

0
Eating fish oil, rather than vegetable oil, is a better means of managing the amount of inflammatory chemicals called prostanoids in the body, researchers report.

Researchers at the University of Michigan (UM) report that understanding how fish oil works may even help with the development of new anti-inflammatory drugs.

"Prostanoids help control blood pressure, fight allergies, and modulate inflammation, but too much of them, especially those made from vegetable oils, can also lead to increased pain, swelling and redness in various tissues," William H. Smith, professor and chair of biological chemistry at UM, said in a prepared statement.

"Our study shows that prostanoids made from fish oil are less effective at causing pain and swelling than those made from vegetable oil and that adding fish oil to the diet decreases the amount of prostanoids made from vegetable oil," he said.

How the study was done
Smith and his research team added vegetable and fish oils to cultured cells and observed the effects. As fish oil amounts increased, the total prostanoids formed by vegetable oil decreased.

Both oils are converted into prostanoids with the help of enzymes called cyclo-oxygenases (cox) of two types: cox-1 and cox-2. Fish oil prefers to bind with cox-1, preventing vegetable oil from binding to the enzyme. However, fish oil did not have the same protective effect with cox-2 and a significant amount of the vegetable oil was still changed into prostanoids.

More research needed on inflammatory chemicals
According to Smith, a better understanding of the difference between the two enzymes could open up avenues for anti-inflammatory drugs that target cox-2 and reduce the production of prostanoids from vegetable oil.

"The drugs that are currently used to inhibit cox-1 and cox-2 provide relief from the symptoms of inflammation and pain, but they still have many side effects," Smith said. "By better understanding how prostanoids work at the cellular level, we hope to find new ways to regulate inflammation and create better anti-inflammatory drugs."

- (HealthDay News)

The study is published in the Aug. 3 issue of Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Read more:
Too little fish oil hurts
Doubt over fish oil benefit

 
NEXT ON HEALTH24X
advertisement

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Mental health & your work »

How open are you about mental illness in the workplace?

Mental health in the workplace – what you can do to help

If you know that one of your colleagues suffers from a mental illness, would you be able to help them at work? Maligay Govender offers some helpful mental health "first aid" tips.

Sleep & You »

Sleep vs. no sleep Diagnosis of insomnia

6 things that are sabotaging your sleep

Kick these shut-eye killers to the kerb and make your whole life better – overnight.