such as "Introduction", "Conclusion"..etc
Omega 3 fatty acids in dietary fish oil are reported to have
anti-inflammatory and anti-thrombogenic and anti-arrhythmic effects in
humans, but the biochemical basis for these beneficial health effects
is not well understood. Now a University of Michigan biochemist reports
that fish oil significantly diminishes the production and effectiveness
of various prostaglandins, naturally occurring hormone-like substances
that can accentuate inflammation and thrombosis.
Dr. William L. Smith described his findings on April 4 at
Experimental Biology 2006 in San Francisco. His presentation was part
of the scientific program of the American Society for Biochemistry and
Molecular Biology (ASBMB).
Dietary fish oil causes its prostaglandin-lowering effects through three different mechanisms, says Dr. Smith.
First, the much fewer prostaglandins are made from omega 3 fatty
acids as compared to the other class of fatty acids in the body, the
omega 6 family of fatty acids that originate in the diet from leafy
vegetables and other plant sources.
Second, the omega 3 fatty acids compete with omega 6 fatty acids
for the same binding site on the COX 1 enzyme that converts the omega 6
fatty acids to prostaglandin (which is why the COX 1 enzyme and its COX
2 cousin are the targets of anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen).
The more omega 3 fatty acids present to block the binding sites, the
fewer omega 6 fatty acids are able to be converted to prostaglandin.
Third, although omega 3 fatty acids also are converted to
prostaglandins, the prostaglandins formed from omega 3 are generally 2
to 50 times less active than those formed from the omega 6 fatty acids
from dietary plants.
The biochemical basis of other benefits of dietary fish oil -- for
example, omega 3 fatty acids' impact on neuronal development and visual
acuity -- are probably due to effects on biochemical pathways
regulating nerve transmission. Understanding the different pathways
through which omega 3 works to convert prostaglandin helps explain why
the plant-based omega 6 fatty acids don't simply provide the same
benefits. Because of omega 3 fatty acids' known benefits to health,
especially cardiovascular health, Dr. Smith's advice is simple: eat
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. April 2006.
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