As omega-3 fatty acids are harmful to the immune system?

Scientists identified a new molecular mechanism preventing inflammatory responses.

Many people know about omega-3 fatty acids and heard about their useful properties, in particular, of the positive effects on the cardiovascular system. These substances are found in vegetable oil and fish oil. Also omega-3 fatty acids play an important role in the immune defense: they provide the building blocks for mediators that cause inflammation. An international group of scientists, including employees of the University of Jena (Germany) were able to reveal an important molecular mechanism that contains a hidden threat. Details about the study reported in the journal Nature Communications.

In their experiments, the researchers showed that the pathogens like Staphylococcus aureus or Eschrichia coli cause in different populations of immune cells-macrophages the opposite effect. Thus, M1 macrophages, active mainly in the inflammatory phase, begin to actively produce Pro-inflammatory reaction of the signal substance. Discovery for scientists was the fact that the M2 macrophages, on the contrary, are used by bacteria to generate anti-inflammatory substances from omega-3 fatty acids.