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Omega-3 Supplementation Reprograms the Immune Response

Posted by Manuela Boyle on 23 December 2021
Omega-3 Supplementation Reprograms the Immune Response

Omega-3 fatty acids like EPA, DHA, and DPA have demonstrated many direct benefits to immune, cardiovascular, and neurocognitive health. Their nutritional influence extends further, however, through the actions of their specialised pro-resolving mediator (SPM/PRM) metabolites. SPMs/PRMs directly alter cell functions and cell-to-cell interactions, yet further regulate immunometabolic activity at the level of gene expression. SPMs/PRMs represent a high level of immune control that largely depends on sufficient dietary intakes of omega-3 fatty acids.

Advances in our understanding of immune-active fats confirm that insufficient intakes of omega-3 fatty acids and deficient endogenous production of their metabolites (including resolvins, protectins, maresins, and lipoxins) can result in dysregulated leukocyte and platelet activation and perpetuation of an imbalanced immune response.

Such impairments in immune resolution have been linked to chronic inflammation and other immune-mediated conditions.

It was previously thought that omega-3 fatty acids like eicosapentaenoic acid, docosahexaenoic acid, and docosapentaenoic acid (EPA, DHA, and DPA) modulate inflammatory processes primarily by interfering with the metabolism of arachidonic acid.

More recent research has discovered that metabolites of omega-3 fats influence the course of an inflammatory response in an even more dynamic fashion by directly adjusting genomic control of immune cell populations and their functional programming.


Author:Manuela Boyle
Tags:NewsPrevention & RecoveryCancerImmune systemFood as Medicine


  • The Institute for Functional Medicine
  • Society for Integrative Oncology
  • Naturopaths and Herbalists Association of Australia
  • Australian Traditional-Medicine Society
  • British Naturopathic Association