Managing Inflammation by Boosting Your Omega-3s

March 31, 2020

Managing Inflammation by Boosting Your Omega-3s

Inflammation, in essence, is our body’s way of telling our immune system that it needs to be on alert, and that our body will be protected against toxins, pathogens, and damaged cells. However, inflammation can become an issue when it persists even after the threat has been taken care of, which can cause a series of health problems.

Inflammation can quickly compromise our quality of life when it develops into a chronic condition. What this means is that the body’s defense mechanism is turning against you, instead of working in your favor to keep you protected. What happens when our own defense system becomes the enemy, and how can we re-establish balance with the help of anti-inflammatory Vegan Omega-3? Keep on reading to find out.

Inflammation Explained

Back to definitions; inflammation is one of the strategies our body’s immune system uses in the event of an infection or injury. Inflammation is, in fact, a process that alerts the body about a problem, triggering it to employ its protective barriers and start the fight against foreign invaders. Without this kind of signaling, our body would not be aware of the danger and would not react timely, which could lead to fatal outcomes.

On the other hand, not all inflammation is “good” inflammation. Sometimes, the inflammatory process can last for too long, or occur in wrong places, leading to numerous health issues. The type of inflammation that persists and is considered undesirable is known as chronic inflammation, which has been linked to various health conditions including autoimmune disorders and cardiovascular conditions.

Unlike acute inflammation, which is a normal bodily response to trauma, chronic inflammation is considered a low-grade inflammation which may lead to the development of more serious health conditions. The term low-grade concerns a low level of inflammation which remains in the body and keeps the immune system on its toes - and not in a good way.

Difference between Acute and Chronic Inflammation

This low level of inflammation could be perceived as a false alarm going off for no real reason. Unfortunately, our immune system responds to these inaccurate “SOS” signals and engages our white blood cells in nonexistent battles. Not having any foreign bodies to tackle, our white blood cells then proceed to attack our own healthy cells and tissues, which basically means that our own body is attacking itself.

According to J. Szlay from LiveScience.com, highly efficient coping strategies for chronic inflammation can be implemented through a person’s lifestyle and nutrition. Therefore, today we’re focusing on the pronounced role of all-natural Vegan Omega-3 fatty acids in inflammation management.

The Anti-Inflammatory Role of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

While our body has the ability to produce numerous fats from raw materials, omega-3 fatty acids are not one of them, a study conducted by G. Tyminski states. This means that, instead of relying on our body to produce them for us, we must supply it with omega-3 fatty acids through our nutrition - hence the attribute “essential”.

But why should we be so concerned with levels of omega-3 in the first place? According to the aforementioned study, these fatty acids represent an integral part of cell membranes, while also being an essential factor in numerous vital processes such as blood clotting, the activity of artery walls, as well as inflammation.

The Promising Effect of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Cardiovascular Health

When it comes to the anti-inflammatory activity of omega-3s, the focus is on derivatives of omega-3 Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) - resolvin and protectin, which act as bioactive mediators. Namely, resolvin has been found to influence inflammation levels in numerous ways, primarily by protecting organs from neovascularization and reperfusion injury. On the other hand, the family of mediators known as protectins has been found to demonstrate protective activity when it comes to inflammation and neural systems, a study on the effects of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids on human health suggests.

The correlation between optimized levels of EPA and DHA and cardiovascular health has been the subject of numerous scientific studies. One of these studies, titled Marine Omega-3 (N-3) Fatty Acids for Cardiovascular Health, suggests that there is a clear connection between boosting the levels of omega-3 and lowering the risk of development of cardiovascular conditions, due to their beneficial effect on factors including blood pressure, blood lipids, heart rate, cholesterol, cardiac arrhythmia, the tendency towards thrombosis, and of course - inflammation.

According to the previously mentioned study, the current intake of EPA and DHA fatty acids among the Western population is certainly insufficient, calling for quality supplementation encompassing a balanced ratio of EPA and DHA. The requirement for this kind of supplementation is even higher for people with the risk of different coronary outcomes, especially given the groundbreaking study results. Namely, the aggregated data from 17 studies suggests that there is a potential 18% risk reduction for coronary heart disorder issues in individuals keeping up with their EPA + DHA requirements, as opposed to those not optimizing these levels.

Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to affect the inflammatory markers in multiple ways. First and foremost, these fats limit the conversion of linoleic acid into pro-inflammatory eicosanoids by converting themselves into less-potent eicosanoids. Secondly, these fats modulate the transcription factor activation, while also limiting the expression of vascular cell adhesion cytokines and molecules. And finally, omega-3s exhibit strong inflammation-resolving properties that aid in the management of numerous inflammation-induced cardiovascular conditions.

The Potential of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Management of Atherosclerosis

So, how exactly can inflammation impact cardiovascular health? According to a study conducted by E. J. Baker and colleagues, atherosclerosis is one of the consequences of inflammation issues. Namely, the mentioned study suggests that atherosclerosis is an inflammatory condition of the vascular wall, mostly occurring within the artery, which develops as a consequence of interactions between immune cells, endothelium, and lipoproteins.

Besides the finding that omega-3 consumption may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, this study emphasizes the fact that these fatty acids may also influence various biological processes that lead to atherosclerosis - inflammation included. What’s more, omega-3s have been shown to play a vital role in the process of reduction in endothelium-leukocyte interactions, which is the main factor in the development of atherosclerosis.

Yet another study focused on the connection between omega-3 fatty acids and cardiovascular inflammation recognizes chronic inflammation as a key factor in atherosclerosis, as well as in high cardiovascular risk. What’s more, the study further emphasizes the effect of omega-3 anti-inflammatory mediators on atherosclerosis circuits, which have been found to significantly contribute to the resolution of inflammation. Therefore, it has been concluded that omega-3s demonstrate great potential when it comes to inflammatory balance in atherosclerosis as an inflammatory cardiovascular condition.

According to a study titled The future for long-chain n-3 PUFA in the prevention of coronary heart disease, chronic inflammation is the prevalent factor in vascular issues contributing to the development of conditions such as atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease. Moreover, the same study suggests that supplementing with long-chain omega-3 fatty acids seems to significantly improve plaque stability by lowering the circulating markers of inflammation.

In summary, inflammation appears to be an underlying factor in the development of various health conditions - especially in the cardiovascular area. Given the weight of the scientific evidence emphasizing the role of omega-3 fatty acids in the management of inflammation, it is safe to conclude that optimizing omega-3 levels is highly recommended. What’s more, the requirement of consistent omega-3 supplementation becomes even more pronounced in light of the fact that we are unable to manufacture these incredibly important fats “from scratch”. For more all-natural non-GMO supplementation, make sure to check out our online store.

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Article References:

  1. Szalay, J. (2020). What Is Inflammation?. Retrieved 22 March 2020, from https://www.livescience.com/52344-inflammation.html
  2. Effects of Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (LCPUFA) on Human Health. (2020). Retrieved 22 March 2020, from http://www.ewg-board.eu/archiv-euromedica/archiv-euromedica-02-2015/artikel-8.pdf
  3. Innes, J.K.; Calder, P.C. Marine Omega-3 (N-3) Fatty Acids for Cardiovascular Health: An Update for 2020. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 1362.
  4. Hall, W. L. (2017). The future for long chain n-3 PUFA in the prevention of coronary heart disease: do we need to target non-fish-eaters? Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 76(03), 408–418. doi:10.1017/s0029665117000428
  5. Baker, E. J., Yusof, M. H., Yaqoob, P., Miles, E. A., & Calder, P. C. (2018). Omega-3 fatty acids and leukocyte-endothelium adhesion: Novel anti-atherosclerotic actions. Molecular Aspects of Medicine. doi:10.1016/j.mam.2018.08.002
  6. Bäck, M., & Hansson, G. (2019). Omega‐3 fatty acids, cardiovascular risk, and the resolution of inflammation. The FASEB Journal, 33(2), 1536-1539. doi: 10.1096/fj.201802445r




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