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Improved Immunity: The Pleasant Side Effect of Omega-3s

You know that consuming omega-3 fatty acids is good for your heart health, but you may also be benefiting other areas of your wellbeing too in the process. This is according to a new study, which found that omega-3 fatty acids could have benefits beyond boosting the health of a person’s heart.

The study was conducted by a collaboration of researchers at the East Carolina University and Michigan State University, who carried out there research on a group of mice. The results of the study, which were published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, indicated that the mice’s immune systems, as well as their heart wellness, also benefited from the consumption of omega-3 fatty acids.

For the study, the researchers fed the mice with a type of fish oil that contains high levels of the omega-3 fatty acid compound DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). According to the researchers, the mice were split into two groups for the study, which lasted for a period of five weeks. Over this time, one group of mice was given a diet that included the DHA-rich fish oil, whilst the second group, by way of comparison, was given a control diet. At the end of the five-week period, the researchers took the mice’s B cell from their tissues, in order to analyse the changes.

When the researchers tested the levels of B cell activation in the lab, the discovered that fish oil, or the omega-3 fatty acids it contains, has protective properties in immunity. Your B cell is a white blood cell, which, as the researchers explained, is an important component of your body’s immune response. The scientists discovered that omega-3 fatty acids work by boosting the activity of the B cell, which, in turn, boosts your immune response.

So what do the results of the study mean for you? According to the researchers, the hope now is that the report could have important implications for people, especially if you have a compromised immune system due to chronic illnesses such as arthritis. However, the researchers also noted that some studies have been carried out in which it was found that omega-3 fatty acids have no beneficial effect in immunity at all, and so they concluded by saying that this area merits further research.


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This entry was posted on June 27, 2013 by and tagged , , .
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