The Benefits of Fish Oil to Reduce Inflammation

Inflammation is the body’s normal defense response to infection and injury.  It is often associated with redness, swelling, heat and pain.  Normally, inflammation is controlled by the body, and it resolves in a timely way once the injury is resolved.  It is essential to the body’s maintenance of good health.  However, inflammation that does not resolve, or chronic low-grade inflammation, can occur that causes damage to the body’s tissues and results in diseases common to patients at AIR Care such as asthma and allergic disease.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Several clinical and epidemiological studies have found that omega-3 fatty acids, commonly referred to as “fish oil”, help to reduce inflammation and promote healing.  Omega-3 fatty acids—eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)—are important components of the membranes that surround each cell in your body.   EPA and DHA help to inhibit several aspects of inflammation including leukocyte chemotaxis, production of prostaglandins and leukotrienes and production of inflammatory cytokines and T cell reactivity.

Dietary Sources

Your body does not manufacture omega-3 fatty acids so it is important to get them through your diet. EPA and DHA are primarily found in cold water fish such as salmon, tuna, rainbow trout and anchovies.  Small amounts of omega-3 are also found in walnuts, chia seeds and flaxseed oil.  ALA is found in plants and is available in vegetable oils, nuts, flaxseeds, and flaxseed oil, and your body is able to convert a small amount of it to EPA and DHA. 

Omega 3 Supplementation

Most Americans do not consume enough food sources to obtain the 2000 mg of EPA and DHA that are recommended to affect a change in the inflammatory processes. Increasing mercury levels in some fish like tuna, limits the amount that can be safely ingested.  Dr. Herrscher and his team at AIR Care can recommend high quality fish oil supplements to meet your specific needs. 

Resources:  lungdiseasenews.com/2017/02/16/fish-oil-fight-asthma; Omega-3 fatty acids and inflammatory processes. Nutrients. 2010;2 (3):355-74; Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2013 Mar;75 (3):645-62. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2125.2012.04374.x.

Author
Diana Kline PA-C

You Might Also Enjoy...

The Flu and Asthma

As Flu season gets underway, it is important for everyone to be informed on key facts about the Flu. The Flu is a potentially dangerous infection for anyone, but many of our patients at AIR Care are at a higher risk for complications from the Flu.

Immunodeficiency Disorder

Immunodeficiency disorders can cause frequent infections and other health issues and disrupt your life. And they can be hard to diagnose. Learn what the symptoms are and what to look out for.

5 Symptoms of Anaphylaxis and Mast Cell Disorder

Mast cell disorders can lead to symptoms ranging from mild to life-threatening, including anaphylaxis, which causes your mouth and throat to swell. Learn the symptoms so you can avoid triggers and get proper treatment.

Are There Really Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds?

If you suffer from pet allergies but you’d like a furry friend, you may be in the market for a hypoallergenic dog. But do they really exist? Read on to find out, and for tips on reducing your allergy symptoms if you do live with a pet.