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Omega-3 fats found in fish oil boost immune response to help fight inflammation and disease

(NaturalNews) Most people take a healthy immune response for granted, as it typically remains on guard detecting a host of known and as yet unidentified pathogens that may threaten our health. Bacteria and viruses that cause the common cold, flu, digestive distress and a variety of potentially fatal illnesses are identified and destroyed before they cause more than a minor discomfort. For most of the past decade, fish consumption and supplementing with DHA and EPA fortified supplements has been shown to lower levels of systemic inflammation and significantly reduce the risk of developing many cancers, stroke and cardiovascular disease, yet the precise mechanism of action has been unknown.

A group of researchers from the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at Michigan State University have published the result of their work in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology that shows how DHA-rich fish oil enhances B-cell activity, a white blood cell that is critical to activate our immune response. One of the study authors, Dr. Jennifer Fenton explained, "Fish oil may have immune enhancing properties that could benefit immunocompromised individuals."

Fish oil fats, DHA and EPA stimulate immune system B cells to fight inflammation and disease risk

Omega-3 fat sources, including fish oil, include the long chain fatty acids, DHA and EPA that have been shown in a number of prior studies to reduce total body inflammation that help to lower the risk of developing many chronic illnesses including cancer, heart disease, dementia and stroke. Researchers now uncover how these special fats enhance B-cell activity, a white blood component necessary to improve immune system activity and lower inflammatory response.

Researchers used two mouse models to conduct their study. One group was fed a control diet and the other was fed a diet supplemented with DHA-rich fish oil for a period of five weeks. B cells were taken from various tissues and the scientists then looked for markers of B-cell activation on the cell surface, B-cell membrane changes, and B-cell cytokine production to assess immune response activation.

The team found that those mice supplemented with DHA-enriched fish oil demonstrated B-cell activation and antibody production to aid immune response and pathogen clearance, while damping systemic inflammation. The authors concluded "This work confirms similar findings on fish oil and B-cells... and moves us one step closer to understanding the immune enhancing properties of EPA and DHA." Adults should supplement with a distilled fish oil preparation (1,200 to 2,400 mg EPA/DHA per day) to fight inflammation and heighten immune system response.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.jleukbio.org/content/93/4/463

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23180828

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130401111545.htm

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/039904_omega-3_immune_system_fish_oil.html#ixzz2QVLIusTS
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