Background: Dietary fish or fish oil rich in n-3 fatty acids (n-3 FAs), eg, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), ameliorate inflammatory reactions by various mechanisms. Whereas most studies have explored the effects of predominantly EPA-based n-3 FAs preparations, few have addressed the effects of n-3 FAs preparations with DHA as the main FA.
Objective: The objective was to determine the effects of 6 mo of dietary supplementation with an n-3 FAs preparation rich in DHA on release of cytokines and growth factors from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs).
Design: In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 174 Alzheimer disease (AD) patients received daily either 1.7 g DHA and 0.6 g EPA (n-3 FAs group) or placebo for 6 mo. In the present study blood samples were obtained from the 23 first randomized patients, and PBMCs were isolated before and after 6 mo of treatment.
Results: Plasma concentrations of DHA and EPA were significantly increased at 6 mo in the n-3 FAs group. This group also showed significant decreases of interleukin (IL)-6, IL-1beta, and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor secretion after stimulation of PBMCs with lipopolysaccharide. Changes in the DHA and EPA concentrations were negatively associated with changes in IL-1beta and IL-6 release for all subjects. Reductions of IL-1beta and IL-6 were also significantly correlated with each other. In contrast, this n-3 FA treatment for 6 mo did not decrease tumor necrosis factor-alpha, IotaL-8, IL-10, and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor secretion.
Conclusion: AD patients treated with DHA-rich n-3 FAs supplementation increased their plasma concentrations of DHA (and EPA), which were associated with reduced release of IL-1beta, IL-6, and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor from PBMCs. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT00211159.