Omega-3 fatty acids and inflammation: A perspective on the challenges of evaluating efficacy in clinical research

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Chronic inflammation is a common underpinning of many diseases. There is a strong pre-clinical evidence base demonstrating the efficacy of omega-3 fatty acids for ameliorating inflammation and thereby reducing disease burden. Clinically, C-reactive protein (CRP) serves as both a reliable marker for monitoring inflammation and a modifiable endpoint for studies of anti-inflammatory pharmaceuticals. However, clinical omega-3 fatty acid supplementation trials have not replicated pre-clinical findings in terms of consistent CRP reductions. Methodological differences present numerous challenges in translating pre-clinical evidence to clinical results. It is crucial that future clinical nutrition research clearly distinguish between the reversal of established inflammation and preventing the development of inflammation. Future clinical studies evaluating the ability of omega-3 fatty acids to attenuate an excessive inflammatory response, may be advanced by employing new statistical approaches and utilizing models of induced inflammation, such as low-dose human endotoxemia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)104-111
Number of pages8
JournalProstaglandins and Other Lipid Mediators
Volume116-117
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • C-reactive protein
  • Clinical research
  • Human endotoxemia model
  • Inflammation
  • Omega-3 fatty acids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cell Biology

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