Acute changes in dietary omega-3 fatty acid intake lowers soluble interleukin-6 receptor in healthy adult normal weight and overweight males

Cytokine. 2004 Jun 7;26(5):195-201. doi: 10.1016/j.cyto.2004.02.010.


Objective: To determine the effect of a short-term isocaloric exchange of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA, 18:3n3) for linoleic acid (LA, 18:2n6) on fasting levels of soluble interleukin-6 receptor (sIL6R), and soluble tumor necrosis factor-alpha receptors 1 and 2 (sTNFR1 and sTNFR2) in healthy normal weight and overweight/obese adult males.

Design: Four-day clinical intervention study with 0.5% or 5% of total energy from ALA. Fasting (10 h) blood samples were obtained on the morning of day 5 in both diet treatments to measure sTNFR1, sTNFR2, and sIL6R.

Subjects: Nine normal weight (BMI < 25 kg/m2) and seven overweight (BMI > or = 25 kg/m2) healthy males.

Results: Fasting sIL6R decreased significantly from the control (C) diet following four days on the high ALA isocaloric (ISO) diet in normal weight and overweight/obese subjects (normal weight: C = 34.89 +/- 3.17 ng/ml, ISO = 30.91 +/- 2.24 ng/ml, p < 0.05; overweight/obese: C = 38.19 +/- 3.92 ng/ml, ISO = 33.57 +/- 2.47 ng/ml, p , 0.05). The dietary intervention did not have a significant effect on fasting sTNFR1 or sTNFR2.

Conclusions: The results suggest that an isocaloric exchange of ALA for LA can reduce fasting sIL6R concentration by approximately 11% after a four-day dietary intervention in both overweight/obese and normal weight subjects. The data also suggest that longer exposure to a similar diet may have the potential to reduce inflammatory burden and thus lower the risk of both cardiovascular disease as well as diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism
  • Linoleic Acid / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Receptors, Interleukin-6 / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Type I / metabolism
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Type II / metabolism
  • alpha-Linolenic Acid / metabolism*


  • Interleukin-6
  • Receptors, Interleukin-6
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Type I
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Type II
  • alpha-Linolenic Acid
  • Linoleic Acid