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

ls of the cytokines in their blister wounds during the initial stage of inflammation, resulting in a slower healing process.

Instead, the group taking the fish oil had significantly higher levels of IL-1b in their blister wounds than did the placebo group 24 hours after the wounds were created. The active group also had higher levels of IL-6 and TNF-a cytokines in their blisters over time than did the placebo group, but those differences in levels were not significant. The blisters took an average of 10.7 days to completely heal in the active supplement group and an average of 9.8 days in the placebo group, but the difference was not significant.

The results suggest that the function of these cytokines still isn't completely understood, McDaniel said. And the scientists were also surprised to find that gender appeared to make a difference in cytokine production. Men were more likely than women among the active supplement group to have higher levels of the IL-1b cytokine in their wounds. McDaniel said that some studies have suggested that estrogen plays a role in inhibiting the production of this particular protein during the inflammatory stage of wound healing, but more research is needed.

McDaniel and colleagues are following up with a similar study in which they are adding a low-dose aspirin to both the fish oil supplement and placebo groups. Some research has shown that aspirin can facilitate the anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3 fatty acids, and low-dose aspirin is commonly included in the medication regimen of patients with cardiovascular disease.

The researchers also will look at different biological markers in blister wounds to see if the combination of fish oil and aspirin produces compounds that function as what McDaniel called "stop and go switches" in controlling inflammation.

"If we find that the fish oil can work in an anti-inflammatory fashion at the local level of wound sites, we would consider movi
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Contact: Jodi McDaniel
Mcdaniel.561@osu.edu
614-292-1345
Ohio State University
Source:Eurekalert

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