Omega-3s are incredibly potent anti-inflammatory supplements
Omega-3 fatty acids are "incredibly potent" anti-inflammatories, which may explain why they have been linked with lowered rates of diabetes and heart disease, according to a study conducted by researchers from the University of California-San Diego and published in the journal Cell.
In an experiment conducted on mice, the researchers examined how omega-3s interact with specialized white blood cells known as macrophages, which digest harmful molecules and cellular debris. As part of their operation, macrophages naturally secrete chemicals that produce an inflammatory response.
The researchers found that macrophages contain an omega-3 receptor, GPR120, that causes them to stop producing these inflammatory chemicals.
In a second experiment, the researchers genetically modified a group mice to lack a GPR120 receptor, then fed a high-fat diet to both modified and normal mice. All the mice became obese and developed diabetes. When their diets were then supplemented with omega-3s, only the non-modified mice exhibited improvement in their symptoms. In these mice, omega-3 supplementation was as effective at restoring insulin sensitivity as the drug Avandia.
"It's just an incredibly potent effect," researcher Jerrold Olefsky said. "The omega-3 fatty acids switch on the receptor, killing the inflammatory response. Read more