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Scientists suspect omega-3 fatty acids could slow acute wound healing
Date:7/23/2008

proteins and other molecular substances that control inflammation locally. Fish oil's systemic anti-inflammatory power, which has been illustrated in previous studies, still might assist in the healing of chronic wounds at the local level. Chronic wounds are essentially stuck in an inflammatory stage that slows or prevents transition to the later stages needed for complete healing. That mechanism needs to be explored further, McDaniel said.

"There's so much information out there now about omega-3s and they clearly have lots of potential," McDaniel said. "We're just trying to figure out how to evaluate what they do and how to advise people to take these supplements. Our goal isn't to stop supplement use but to fill in the picture of what conditions they help and what they might hurt."

The research is published in a recent issue of the journal Wound Repair and Regeneration.

Study participants were divided into two groups of 15 healthy adults each. One group took a placebo, and the other took an active supplement containing 1.6 grams of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and 1.1 grams of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) daily for four weeks. EPA and DHA are the polyunsaturated fatty acids obtained primarily from fish oil that serve as the basis of most standard omega-3 supplements.

Previous research has suggested that these fatty acids affect the production of proteins called proinflammatory cytokines, which signal biological processes during the inflammatory stage of wound healing. The primary cytokines in the process are interleukin-1 beta (IL-1b), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a).

But research had not yet addressed how the interaction between fatty acids and these cytokines might affect human wounds.

McDaniel and colleagues expected to find that research participants taking the fish oil supplements and therefore being affected by their anti-inflammatory properties would have significantly lower leve
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Contact: Jodi McDaniel
Mcdaniel.561@osu.edu
614-292-1345
Ohio State University
Source:Eurekalert

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