The bioactive lipids responsible for the signs and symptoms of inflammation belong mainly to the omega-6 family and are represented by prostaglandins and leukotrienes. Antagonism of inflammation by omega-3 fatty acids has been demonstrated in animal models. Studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids, particularly those in fish oil, can decrease leukocyte production of omega-6 prostaglandins and leukotrienes, as well as cytokines.1
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Supplement: Essential role of fats throughout the lifecycle
Adulthood – prevention
Les G Cleland and Michael J James
Med J Aust 2002; 176 (11 Suppl): S119.
Les G Cleland, MD, FRACP, Senior Director and Head
Michael J James, PhD, Chief Medical Scientist
James MJ, Gibson RA, Cleland LG. Dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids and inflammatory mediator production. Am J Clin Nutr 2000; 71 (Suppl): 343S-348S.
Schichikawa K, Takenaka Y, Maeda A, et al. A longitudinal population survey of rheumatoid arthritis in a rural district in Wakayama. Ryumachi 1981; 21 (Suppl): 35-43.
Shapiro JA, Koepsell TD, Voigt LF, et al. Diet and rheumatoid arthritis in women: A possible protective effect of fish consumption. Epidemiol 1996; 7: 256-263.
James MJ, Cleland LG. Dietary n-3 fatty acids and therapy for rheumatoid arthritis. Semin Arthritis Rheum 1997; 27: 85-97.
Bacon PA,Townend JN. Nail in the coffin: Increasing evidence for the role of rheumatic disease in the cardiovascular mortality of rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis Rheum 2001; 44: 2707-2710.
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