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September 2012

By Life Extension

Fish oil intake compared with olive oil intake in late pregnancy and asthma in the offspring: 16 y of registry-based follow-up from a randomized controlled trial.

BACKGROUND: Evidence suggests that asthma is rooted in the intrauterine environment and that intake of marine n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) in pregnancy may have immunomodulatory effects on the child. OBJECTIVE: Our aim was to examine whether increasing maternal intake of n-3 PUFAs in pregnancy may affect offspring risk of asthma. DESIGN: In 1990, a population-based sample of 533 women with normal pregnancies were randomly assigned 2:1:1 to receive four 1-g gelatin capsules/d with fish oil providing 2.7 g n-3 PUFAs (n = 266); four 1-g, similar-looking capsules/d with olive oil (n = 136); or no oil capsules (n = 131). Women were recruited and randomly assigned around gestation week 30 and asked to take capsules until delivery. Among 531 live-born children, 528 were identified in registries and 523 were still alive by August 2006. Diagnoses from the International Coding of Diseases version 10 were extracted from a mandatory registry that recorded diagnoses reported from hospital contacts. RESULTS: During the 16 y that passed since childbirth, 19 children from the fish oil and olive oil groups had received an asthma-related diagnosis; 10 had received the diagnosis allergic asthma. The hazard rate of asthma was reduced by 63% (95% CI: 8%, 85%; P = 0.03), whereas the hazard rate of allergic asthma was reduced by 87% (95% CI: 40%, 97%; P = 0.01) in the fish oil compared with the olive oil group. CONCLUSION: Under the assumption that intake of olive oil in the dose provided here was inert, our results support that increasing n-3 PUFAs in late pregnancy may carry an important prophylactic potential in relation to offspring asthma.

Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Jul;88(1):167-75

DHA may prevent age-related dementia.

The risk for dementia, a major contributor to incapacitation and institutionalization, rises rapidly as we age, doubling every 5 y after age 65. Tens of millions of new Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other dementia cases are projected as elderly populations increase around the world, creating a projected dementia epidemic for which most nations are not prepared. Thus, there is an urgent need for prevention approaches that are safe, effective, and affordable. This review addresses the potential of one promising candidate, the (n-3) fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which appears to slow pathogenesis of AD and possibly vascular dementia. DHA is pleiotropic, acting at multiple steps to reduce the production of the beta-amyloid peptide, widely believed to initiate AD. DHA moderates some of the kinases that hyperphosphorylate the tau-protein, a component of the neurofibrillary tangle. DHA may help suppress insulin/neurotrophic factor signaling deficits, neuroinflammation, and oxidative damage that contribute to synaptic loss and neuronal dysfunction in dementia. Finally, DHA increases brain levels of neuroprotective brain-derived neurotrophic factor and reduces the (n-6) fatty acid arachidonate and its prostaglandin metabolites that have been implicated in promoting AD. Clinical trials suggest that DHA or fish oil alone can slow early stages of progression, but these effects may be apolipoprotein E genotype specific, and larger trials with very early stages are required to prove efficacy. We advocate early intervention in a prodromal period with nutrigenomically defined subjects with an appropriately designed nutritional supplement, including DHA and antioxidants.

J Nutr. 2010 Apr;140(4):869-74

Role of lipoxins, resolvins, and other bioactive lipids in colon and pancreatic cancer.

Unresolved inflammation, due to insufficient production of proresolving anti-inflammatory lipid mediators, can lead to an increased risk of tumorigenesis and tumor cell invasiveness. Various bioactive lipids, particularly those formed by cyclooxygenase (COX) and lipoxygenase (LOX) enzymes, have been well established as therapeutic targets for many epithelial cancers. Emerging studies suggest that there is a role for anti-inflammatory bioactive lipids and their mediators during the resolution phase of inflammation. These proresolving bioactive lipids, including lipoxins (LXs) and resolvins (RVs), have potent anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties. The molecular signaling pathways controlling generation and degradation of the proresolving mediators LXs and RVs are now being elucidated, and the component molecules may serve as new targets for regulation of inflammation and inflammation-associated cancers like colon and pancreatic cancers. This review will highlight the recent advances in our understanding of how these bioactive lipids and proresolving mediators may function with various immune cells and cytokines in inhibiting tumor cell proliferation and progression and invasiveness of colon and pancreatic cancers.

Cancer Metastasis Rev. 2011 Dec;30(3-4):507-23

Supplementation with fish oil increases first-line chemotherapy efficacy in patients with advanced nonsmall cell lung cancer.

BACKGROUND: Palliative chemotherapy is aimed at increasing survival and palliating symptoms. However, the response rate to first-line chemotherapy in patients with nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is less than 30%. Experimental studies have shown that supplementation with fish oil (FO) can increase chemotherapy efficacy without negatively affecting nontarget tissue. This study evaluated whether the combination of FO and chemotherapy (carboplatin with vinorelbine or gemcitabine) provided a benefit over standard of care (SOC) on response rate and clinical benefit from chemotherapy in patients with advanced NSCLC. METHODS: Forty-six patients completed the study, n = 31 in the SOC group and n = 15 in the FO group (2.5 g EPA + DHA/day). Response to chemotherapy was determined by clinical examination and imaging. Response rate was defined as the sum of complete response plus partial response, and clinical benefit was defined as the sum of complete response, partial response, and stable disease divided by the number of patients. Toxicities were graded by a nurse before each chemotherapy cycle. Survival was calculated 1 year after study enrollment. RESULTS: Patients in the FO group had an increased response rate and greater clinical benefit compared with the SOC group (60.0% vs 25.8%, P = .008; 80.0% vs 41.9%, P = .02, respectively). The incidence of dose-limiting toxicity did not differ between groups (P = .46). One-year survival tended to be greater in the FO group (60.0% vs 38.7%; P = .15). CONCLUSIONS: Compared with SOC, supplementation with FO results in increased chemotherapy efficacy without affecting the toxicity profile and may contribute to increased survival.

Cancer. 2011 Aug 15;117(16):3774-80

The influence of supplemental lutein and docosahexaenoic acid on serum, lipoproteins, and macular pigmentation.

BACKGROUND: Lutein and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) may protect against age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Lutein is a component of macular pigment. DHA is in the retina. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this 4-mo study was to determine the effects of lutein (12 mg/d) and DHA (800 mg/d) on their serum concentrations and macular pigment optical density (MPOD). DESIGN: Forty-nine women (60-80 y) were randomly assigned to placebo, DHA, lutein, or lutein + DHA supplement. Serum was analyzed for lutein and DHA (0, 2, and 4 mo). MPOD was determined (0 and 4 mo) at 0.4, 1.5, 3, and 5 degrees temporal retinal eccentricities. Serum was analyzed for lipoproteins (4 mo). RESULTS: There was no interaction between lutein and DHA supplementations for serum lutein and MPOD. The lutein supplementation x DHA supplementation x month interaction was significant for serum DHA response (P < 0.05). In the lutein group, serum lutein increased from baseline at 2 and 4 mo (P < 0.001), and MPOD increased at 3.0 degrees (P < 0.01). In the DHA group, serum DHA increased at 2 and 4 mo (P < 0.0001), and MPOD increased at 0.4 degrees (P < 0.05). In the lutein + DHA group, serum lutein and DHA increased at 2 and 4 mo (P < 0.01), and MPOD increased at 0.4, 1.5, and 3 degrees (P = 0.06, 0.08, and 0.09, respectively). Differences from placebo in lipoprotein subfractions were greatest for the lutein + DHA group (4 mo). CONCLUSIONS: Lutein supplementation increased MPOD eccentrically. DHA resulted in central increases. These results may be due to changes in lipoproteins. Lutein and DHA may aid in prevention of age-related macular degeneration.

Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 May;87(5):1521-9

Resolving inflammation: dual anti-inflammatory and pro-resolution lipid mediators.

Active resolution of acute inflammation is a previously unrecognized interface between innate and adaptive immunity. Once thought to be a passive process, the resolution of inflammation is now shown to involve active biochemical programmes that enable inflamed tissues to return to homeostasis. This Review presents new cellular and molecular mechanisms for the resolution of inflammation, revealing key roles for eicosanoids, such as lipoxins, and recently discovered families of endogenous chemical mediators, termed resolvins and protectins. These mediators have anti-inflammatory and pro-resolution properties, thereby protecting organs from collateral damage, stimulating the clearance of inflammatory debris and promoting mucosal antimicrobial defence.

Nat Rev Immunol. 2008 May;8(5):349-61

Endogenous signaling by omega-3 docosahexaenoic acid-derived mediators sustains homeostatic synaptic and circuitry integrity.

The harmony and function of the complex brain circuits and synapses are sustained mainly by excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission, neurotrophins, gene regulation, and factors, many of which are incompletely understood. A common feature of brain circuit components, such as dendrites, synaptic membranes, and other membranes of the nervous system, is that they are richly endowed in docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), the main member of the omega-3 essential fatty acid family. DHA is avidly retained and concentrated in the nervous system and known to play a role in neuroprotection, memory, and vision. Only recently has it become apparent why the surprisingly rapid increases in free (unesterified) DHA pool size take place at the onset of seizures or brain injury. This phenomenon began to be clarified by the discovery of neuroprotectin D1 (NPD1), the first-uncovered bioactive docosanoid formed from free DHA through 15-lipoxygenase-1 (15-LOX-1). NPD1 synthesis includes, as agonists, oxidative stress and neurotrophins. The evolving concept is that DHA-derived docosanoids set in motion endogenous signaling to sustain homeostatic synaptic and circuit integrity. NPD1 is anti-inflammatory, displays inflammatory resolving activities, and induces cell survival, which is in contrast to the pro-inflammatory actions of the many of omega-6 fatty acid family members. We highlight here studies relevant to the ability of DHA to sustain neuronal function and protect synapses and circuits in the context of DHA signalolipidomics. DHA signalolipidomics comprises the integration of the cellular/tissue mechanism of DHA uptake, its distribution among cellular compartments, the organization and function of membrane domains containing DHA phospholipids, and the precise cellular and molecular events revealed by the uncovering of signaling pathways regulated by docosanoids endowed with prohomeostatic and cell survival bioactivity. Therefore, this approach offers emerging targets for prevention, pharmaceutical intervention, and clinical translation involving DHA-mediated signaling.

Mol Neurobiol. 2011 Oct;44(2):216-22

Health Benefits of n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids: Eicosapentaenoic Acid and Docosahexaenoic Acid.

Marine-based fish and fish oil are the most popular and well-known sources of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), namely, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These n-3 PUFAs are known to have variety of health benefits against cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) including well-established hypotriglyceridemic and anti-inflammatory effects. Also, various studies indicate promising antihypertensive, anticancer, antioxidant, antidepression, antiaging, and antiarthritis effects. Moreover, recent studies also indicate anti-inflammatory and insulin-sensitizing effects of these fatty acids in metabolic disorders. Classically, n-3 PUFAs mediate some of these effects by antagonizing n-6 PUFA (arachidonic acid)-induced proinflammatory prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)) formation. Another well-known mechanism by which n-3 PUFAs impart their anti-inflammatory effects is via reduction of nuclear factor-κB activation. This transcription factor is a potent inducer of proinflammatory cytokine production, including interleukin 6 and tumor necrosis factor-α, both of which are decreased by EPA and DHA. Other evidence also demonstrates that n-3 PUFAs repress lipogenesis and increase resolvins and protectin generation, ultimately leading to reduced inflammation. Finally, beneficial effects of EPA and DHA in insulin resistance include their ability to increase secretion of adiponectin, an anti-inflammatory adipokine. In summary, n-3 PUFAs have multiple health benefits mediated at least in part by their anti-inflammatory actions; thus their consumption, especially from dietary sources, should be encouraged.

Adv Food Nutr Res. 2012;65:211-22

Transgenic restoration of long-chain n-3 fatty acids in insulin target tissues improves resolution capacity and alleviates obesity-linked inflammation and insulin resistance in high-fat-fed mice.

OBJECTIVE: The catabasis of inflammation is an active process directed by n-3 derived pro-resolving lipid mediators. We aimed to determine whether high-fat (HF) diet-induced n-3 deficiency compromises the resolution capacity of obese mice and thereby contributes to obesity-linked inflammation and insulin resistance. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: We used transgenic expression of the fat-1 n-3 fatty acid desaturase from C. elegans to endogenously restore n-3 fatty acids in HF-fed mice. After 8 weeks on HF or chow diets, wild-type and fat-1 transgenic mice were subjected to insulin and glucose tolerance tests and a resolution assay was performed. Metabolic tissues were then harvested for biochemical analyses. RESULTS: We report that the n-3 docosanoid resolution mediator protectin D1 is lacking in muscle and adipose tissue of HF-fed wild-type mice. Accordingly, HF-fed wild-type mice have an impaired capacity to resolve an acute inflammatory response and display elevated adipose macrophage accrual and chemokine/cytokine expression. This is associated with insulin resistance and higher activation of iNOS and JNK in muscle and liver. These defects are reversed in HF-fed fat-1 mice, in which the biosynthesis of this important n-3 docosanoid resolution mediator is improved. Importantly, transgenic restoration of n-3 fatty acids prevented obesity-linked inflammation and insulin resistance in HF-fed mice without altering food intake, weight gain, or adiposity. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that inefficient biosynthesis of n-3 resolution mediators in muscle and adipose tissue contributes to the maintenance of chronic inflammation in obesity and that these novel lipids offer exciting potential for the treatment of insulin resistance and diabetes.

Diabetes. 2010 Dec;59(12):3066-73

Resolvin D1 decreases adipose tissue macrophage accumulation and improves insulin sensitivity in obese-diabetic mice.

Type 2 diabetes and obesity have emerged as global public health crises. Adipose tissue expansion in obesity promotes accumulation of classically activated macrophages that perpetuate chronic inflammation and sustain insulin resistance. Acute inflammation normally resolves in an actively orchestrated series of molecular and cellular events that ensures return to homeostasis after an inflammatory insult, a process regulated in part by endogenous lipid mediators such as the resolvins. In this study, we sought to determine whether stimulating resolution with resolvin D1 (RvD1) improves insulin sensitivity by resolving chronic inflammation associated with obesity. In male leptin receptor-deficient (db/db) mice, treatment with RvD1 (2 µg/kg) improved glucose tolerance, decreased fasting blood glucose, and increased insulin-stimulated Akt phosphorylation in adipose tissue relative to vehicle-treated mice. Treatment with RvD1 increased adiponectin production, while expression of IL-6 in adipose tissue was decreased. The formation of crown-like structures rich in inflammatory F4/80(+)CD11c(+) macrophages was reduced by >50% in adipose tissue by RvD1 and was associated with an increased percentage of F4/80(+) cells expressing macrophage galactose-type C-type lectin 1 (MGL-1), a marker of alternatively activated macrophages. These results suggest that stimulating resolution with the endogenous proresolving mediator RvD1 could provide a novel therapeutic strategy for treating obesity-induced diabetes.