DHA Responds to Inflammation by Activating Anti-Inflammatory Genes

By: Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist
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DHA, the most important omega 3 fatty acid, is associated with significantly less inflammation as well as a variety of other major health benefits.  New research has uncovered for the first time a new way in which DHA works its anti-inflammatory magic1.  The data shows that immune system macrophages, once inflamed, automatically start producing molecular by-products from DHA, leading to molecules that go directly into cells and boost up antioxidant and anti-inflammatory gene function. 

DHA has many functions associated with health.  This study shows a type of intelligence relating to how your body uses nutrients.  It means that DHA wouldn’t just impose anti-inflammatory function where none is needed.  Instead, macrophages that are always the first cells to activate during inflammation, including inflammation within your white adipose tissue that is central to disease risk, use DHA to produce a simultaneous anti-inflammatory effect, thus buffering their own inflammation activity that is often required for proper function.  This gives a new insight into how your body simultaneously performs inflammatory activity while also helping to regulate the degree of inflammation.

It was found that DHA could turn of iNOS (inducible nitric oxide), a highly inflammatory signal that induces circulatory distress and high blood pressure.  iNOS causes significant free radical generation, thus showing new insights into how DHA functions as a gene regulating antioxidant.

Referenced Studies:
  1. ^ A newly Discovered Way Omega 3 Fatty Acids Reduce Inflammation  Nature Chemical Biology  1.Alison L Groeger, Chiara Cipollina, Marsha P Cole, Steven R Woodcock, Gustavo Bonacci, Tanja K Rudolph, Volker Rudolph, Bruce A Freeman & Francisco J Schopfer.

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