Tuesday, March 08, 2005

305: Omega-3 fatty acids

news @ nature.com - Secret of fish oil's healthy effects revealed - Synthetic version could one day treat range of inflammatory diseases.:

Their work in human cells and in mice showed that omega-3 fatty acids in the fish oil are converted into lipids that seem to suppress inflammation. Aspirin speeds up that conversion.

The researchers have now pinned down the effect even further by focusing on one of the lipids, called resolvin E1. First they found that healthy human volunteers fed both aspirin and fish oil had resolvin E1 in their bloodstream. Then they created a synthetic form of the lipid and tested its properties.

The lipid inhibited the migration of particular human immune cells and dramatically reduced inflammation on the skin of rabbits. Serhan and his team believe that resolvin E1 works in the body to tone down inflammation, and report their results in The Journal of Experimental Medicine1.
Mice, rabbits and humans all respond similarly to a combination of aspirin and omega-3 fatty acids. Common descent, baby.