Impact of botanical oils on polyunsaturated fatty acid metabolism and leukotriene generation in mild asthmatics

Jonathan P. Arm, Joshua A. Boyce, Lin Wang, Heng Chhay, Muhammad Zahid, Vaishali Patil, Usha Govindarajulu, Priscilla Ivester, Kelly L. Weaver, Susan Sergeant, Elliot Israel, Floyd H. Chilton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Background: Dietary supplementation with botanical oils that contain n-6 and n-3 eighteen carbon chain (18C)-PUFA such as γ linolenic acid (GLA, 18:3n-6), stearidonic acid (SDA, 18:4n-3) and α linolenic acid (ALA, 18:3n-3) have been shown to impact PUFA metabolism, alter inflammatory processes including arachidonic acid (AA) metabolism and improve inflammatory disorders. Methods. The diet of mild asthmatics patients was supplemented for three weeks with varying doses of two botanical seed oils (borage oil [Borago officinalis, BO] and echium seed oil [Echium plantagineum; EO]) that contain SDA, ALA and GLA. A three week wash out period followed. The impact of these dietary manipulations was evaluated for several biochemical endpoints, including in vivo PUFA metabolism and ex vivo leukotriene generation from stimulated leukocytes. Results: Supplementation with several EO/BO combinations increased circulating 20-22 carbon (20-22C) PUFAs, including eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosapentaenoic acid (DPA), and dihommo-gammalinolenic acid (DGLA), which have been shown to inhibit AA metabolism and inflammation without impacting circulating AA levels. BO/EO combinations also inhibited ex vivo leukotriene generation with some combinations attenuating cysteinyl leukotriene generation in stimulated basophils by >50% and in stimulated neutrophils by >35%. Conclusions: This study shows that dietary supplementation with BO/EO alters 20-22C PUFA levels and attenuates leukotriene production in a manner consistent with a reduction in inflammation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number141
JournalLipids in Health and Disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Asthma
  • Borage oil
  • Echium oil
  • Gammalinolenic acid
  • Inflammation
  • Leukotrienes
  • Stearidonic acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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