Omega-3s and other healthy oils are the building blocks for cell membranes. When a healthy cell becomes damaged, the torn cell membrane becomes the chemical signals to bring in the repair crew. The repair crew are the white bloods cells, and the inflammatory mediators that cause swelling and redness.
For an acute injury, the inflammatory mediators resolve the problems and facilitate in the repairs. But for chronic inflammation, the inflammatory mediators just cause havoc since there is nothing to fix. So that is how fish oils are link to inflammation and the immune system. Their chemical structure is very similar to inflammatory signalers, aka eicosanoids.
Omega-3s, EPA and DHA, can compete with arachidonic acid (an inflammatory signaler) for activation enzymes. Therefore, higher concentrations of EPA and DHA than arachidonic acid tip the eicosanoid-define balance toward less inflammatory activity, polyunsaturated fatty acids (as arachidonic acid), and involved in cellular activity.
Concentrations of EPA and DHAC
We know that fish oils improve systemic inflammation by looking at the inflammatory biomarkers such as CRP and IL-6. O3FA can significantly change the serum levels of CRP and IL-6 (ref 1). However, they are not always strong enough to change the disease state outcome or improve quality of life. Sometimes, systemic inflammation is so out of control that monoclonal antibodies; or glucocorticoid steroids are need to change the course of the disease.
Medicinal oils that contain omega-3 fatty acids, include, but are not limit to, fish oils. You can buy Omega 3 fatty acids in a pill form, or in cooking oils and other medicinal oils such as flax seed oil, canola oil; soy bean oil and possibly olive oil, it depends on the manufacture and it would be listed on the content label. The NIH website lists all the foods and oils high in omega 3’s. They do not list olive oil even though it is the main stable of the Mediterranean diet which has amazing health and longevity effects.
Omega 3 fatty acids
The study investigated the anti-inflammatory effects of omega 3 fatty acids (O3FAs); for patients with advanced nonsmall cell lung cancer (ANSCLC). A total of 137 patients with ANSCLC were include in this study. Of those, 77 patients underwent O3FA; and were assign to a treatment group, while 60 patients did not receive it, and were assign to a control group.
C-reactive protein (CRP), and interleukin (IL)-6 levels, as well as the levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα); and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) were check. In addition, nutritional status and quality of life were also evaluated. All patients in the treatment group received a total of 6 weeks treatment.
After 6 weeks treatment, patients in the treatment group exerted better outcomes in CRP and IL-6; although no significant differences were found in nutritional status; as well as the quality, compared with patients in the control group. The results of this retrospective study found that O3FA may change levels of CRP and IL-6, except the nutritional status and quality of life.