Omega-3 Fatty Acids Decreases Inflammation via the Endocannabinoid System

The role of n-3 PUFA-derived fatty acid derivatives and their oxygenated metabolites in the modulation of inflammation

Researchers have recently unveiled the role of n-3 PUFA-derived fatty acid, also known as omega-3 fatty acids, in the endocannabinoid systems anti-inflammatory and protective effects. The data reported shows that increasing the dietary intake of n-3 PUFA resulted in an increase in endocannabinoid concentrations. It was also found that n-3 PUFA derived endocannabinoids are metabolized by oxidative enzymes and their oxidized forms have higher anti-inflammatory and anti-proliferative properties than the base form of the endocannabinoids. This research includes a possible method for examining the metabolism of these biochemicals, calling for more research to be done to understand the full potential of dietary n-3 PUFA. 

The authors take care to emphasize how little is known about the human body despite centuries of research. Omega-3 fatty acids are commonly accepted as an essential part of humans diets which is why it is recommended to consume fatty fish, certain vegetables, or fish oil pills. As well recommended as these dietary supplements are there is still much debate surrounding the specific benefits of omega-3 fatty acids and the mechanism behind those benefits. Considering that omega-3 fatty acids act upon the endocannabinoid system to enhance many systems within the body, such as the cardiovascular system, the immune system, and the nervous system, more research is needed to fully dissect the interactions between the endocannabinoid system and n-3 PUFA. 

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Benjamin Caplan, MDOmega-3 Fatty Acids Decreases Inflammation via the Endocannabinoid System