More than just brain food: High DHA fish oils found to boost your immunity

More than just brain food: High DHA fish oils found to boost your immunity
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(Natural News) Fish oil supplements are popular for a reason. They are full of omega-3 fatty acids, which are crucial for your overall health.

According to a study, aside from boosting brain health, taking fish oil with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) daily can “support a healthy immune response in middle-aged obese adults.”

How the study was done

AlaskOmega, a company owned by Organic Technologies, collaborated with researchers from East Carolina University, the University of Colorado, Denver, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the U.S. and the University of Stirling in the U.K. The study was published in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.

The team of researchers spearheaded a new pilot study on humans that involved the 12-week of supplementation of high-DHA-fish oil concentrate from AlaskOmega. The supplements were linked with enhancements in B cell responses.

B cells are a kind of white blood cells that trigger the production of antibodies. These cells are also crucial for cytokine secretion and antigen presentation to T cells. The study findings suggest that DHA can help boost “certain aspects of immune function.”

Dr. Raz Shaikh, lead investigator of the study, said that based on animal studies, omega-3s could consistently and significantly improve different aspects of immunity, like inflammation. Shaikh, who is also currently Associate Professor of Nutrition at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, added that until now, not much was known about B cell activation in humans.

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Additionally, omega-3s and underlying mechanisms have yet to be clearly understood. He added that the researchers were pleased to observe the immune enhancing properties of DHA-rich fish oil on human B cells.

In the study, 34 obese men and women were randomly assigned to receive one-gram capsules daily of olive oil (control group), fish oil concentrate, or high-DHA-fish oil concentrate for 12 weeks. (Related: Fish oil lowers risk of breast cancer by 32 percent.)

The study results revealed that compared to baseline values, the participants who were given the fish oil concentrate experienced reductions in the percentage of circulating memory and plasma B cells. Meanwhile, the other supplements didn’t affect the B cell. The researchers also didn’t detect any other differences between the groups post-intervention.

Further study of certain immune system components showed that the DHA-fish oil concentrate helped boost the secretion of pro-inflammatory molecules like tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and the anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-10. The researchers wrote that findings from the pilot study imply that B-cell activity could be sensitive to n-3 LC-PUFA intervention. They also noted that the results call for “more in-depth experiments with a larger cohort.”

Steve Dillingham, global director for Organic Technologies’ AlaskOmega Ingredients, the major sponsor of the study, believes that the study findings are encouraging. Dillingham concluded that thanks to the study results, there is now proof that supplementation with a DHA-rich fish oil concentrate can help boost the immune system.

The other benefits of fish oil

Here is further proof that fish oil is good for your health:

  • It can boost heart health – Fish oil supplementation can address the risks linked with heart diseases such as high blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
  • It can help address certain mental disorders – Fish oil supplementation can help improve the symptoms of some psychiatric disorders, like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. This can be due to an increase in omega-3 fatty acid intake.
  • It can help minimize inflammation and symptoms of inflammatory diseases – Because fish oil has potent anti-inflammatory effects, it can help reduce symptoms of inflammatory diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis.
  • It can improve skin health – Fish oil can help repair skin damaged by too much sun exposure or old age. Fish oil supplementation may help maintain healthy skin and ease symptoms from conditions like dermatitis and psoriasis.

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