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THE OMEGA-3 EFFECTS ON RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS

Polyunsaturated fatty acids are fatty acids that have more than one C = C double bond inside the molecule, in fact they differ from saturated fats precisely for their molecular-geometric composition.
They belong to the polyunsaturated fatty acids, families of fats such as: omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9, which are relevant from a nutritional point of view.

The fame of omega 3, as beneficial substances for our body, was born and spread for the first time in an epidemiological study around the 70s, when researchers noticed that the Inuit Eskimos, great consumers of foods containing fatty acids Omega-3, presented an extremely low risk of atherosclerosis.

Omega-3 fatty acids are known as essential fatty acids, as they cannot be synthesized in mammals and their integration is linked to the intake of foods such as eggs, fish, oilseeds and small concentrations have also been found in vegetables and fruit.
Among the biological functions of Omega 3, it is believed that the most relevant have a role in health and in some pathologies.

Some of them are:

  • contrast in hypertension and hyperglycemia
  • represent constituents of cell membranes
  • help in maintaining brain function
  • they improve mood in some forms of depression

Recently, omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to have immunomodulatory properties as they act as precursors of the lipid mediators of inflammation that can limit or modulate the inflammatory response.

According to the latest studies, Omega-3 fatty acids seem to have a mitigating effect against autoimmune diseases characterized by strong inflammation; in particular, several clinical studies have focused their attention on the possible correlation between omega-3 and rheumatoid arthritis, demonstrating how these fats modulate the activity of the disease, that is to say on the number of swollen and painful joints.

In a study, published on 30 June 2020 in the Mediterranean Journal of Rheumatology, it highlighted how the consumption of fish oil (one of the major sources of Omega-3) by patients with rheumatoid arthritis, generated an access, in plasma levels , of interleukin-1β (molecule that plays an important role in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis)[ 21].

Further investigating the molecules involved in the inflammatory states of rheumatoid arthritis, the prolonged integration of fish oil favored a subsequent reduction in the population of CD4 + T cells, the latter involved in the production of interferon γ (IFN-γ) and interleukin – 17 (IL-17). [24-27]
The data mentioned above show that the main mechanism of action with which to manage omega-3 fatty acids is the inhibition and attenuation of the synthesis of pro-inflammatory molecules. [43]

With the exploRA test, it is possible to trace this information, verifying whether Omega-3s have a beneficial impact on the individual and ascertain their anti-inflammatory activity on the CD4 + T cell population.

Research has gathered vast amounts of knowledge on the following omega-3 fatty acids.

Their intake in RA patients showed, as a consequence of these inhibitions, that both the number of swollen and painful joints were lower than in a control group taking placebo.

Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids that have an impact on health and disease. Their action seems to attenuate and modulate the autoimmune inflammatory response, demonstrating an improvement in the activity of the disease.

References:
21. Espersen GT, Grunnet N, Lervang HH, Nielsen GL, Thomsen BS, Faarvang KL, et al. Decreased plasma interleukin-1 beta levels from rheumatoid arthritis patients after dietary supplementation with n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Clin Rheumatol 1992; 11 (3): 393-5

24. Novak TE, Babcock TA, Jho DH, Helton WS, Espat NJ. Inhibition of NF-kappa B by omega-3 fatty acids modulates the TNF-alpha transcription of LPS-stimulated macrophages. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol 2003; 284 (1): L84–89.

27. Trebble T, Arden NK, Stroud MA, Wootton SA, Burdge GC, Miles EA, et al. Inhibition of the production of tumor necrosis factor alpha and interleukin 6 by mononuclear cells following food supplementation with fish oil in healthy men and response to the co-integration of antioxidants Br J Nutr 2003; 90 (2): 405-12.

43. Veselinovic M, Vasiljevic D, Vucic V, Arsic A, Petrovic S, Tomic-Lucic A, et al. Clinical benefits of n-3 PUFA and linolenic acid in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Nutrients 2017; 9 (4).

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