Friday, July 31, 2009

Nutrigenomics explains omega-3’s immune health benefits

Nutrigenomics explains omega-3’s immune health benefits

Omega-3-rich fish oil beneficially affects gene expression, says a new nutrigenomic study that enhances our understanding of the health benefits of omega-3.

The study is said to be the first to show that DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) can affect gene expression to a more anti-atherogenic and anti-inflammatory status.

Lead researcher Lydia Afman told NutraIngredients: “The most exciting finding of this study is the demonstration of less pro-inflammatory gene expression profiles in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) after a 6 months fish oil intervention in a healthy elderly population.”

Because PBMCs are immune cells, and play a vital role in inflammation and the development of cardiovascular diseases, the results may go some way to explaining the cardio-protective effects of omega-3 fatty acids.

In addition to a large body of science linking DHA and EPA to improved cardiovascular health, the omega-3 fatty acids have also been linked to reduced risks of certain cancers, good development of a baby during pregnancy, improved joint health, and improved behaviour and mood.

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