n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Their Derivates Reduce Neuroinflammation during Aging

Nutrients. 2020 Feb 28;12(3):647. doi: 10.3390/nu12030647.


: Aging is associated to cognitive decline, which can lead to loss of life quality, personal suffering, and ultimately neurodegenerative diseases. Neuroinflammation is one of the mechanisms explaining the loss of cognitive functions. Indeed, aging is associated to the activation of inflammatory signaling pathways, which can be targeted by specific nutrients with anti-inflammatory effects. Dietary n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are particularly attractive as they are present in the brain, possess immunomodulatory properties, and are precursors of lipid derivates named specialized pro-resolving mediators (SPM). SPMs are crucially involved in the resolution of inflammation that is modified during aging, resulting in chronic inflammation. In this review, we first examine the effect of aging on neuroinflammation and then evaluate the potential beneficial effect of n-3 PUFA as precursors of bioactive derivates, particularly during aging, on the resolution of inflammation. Lastly, we highlight evidence supporting a role of n-3 PUFA during aging.

Keywords: Key-words: aging; cognitive decline; n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids; neuroinflammation; resolution of inflammation; specialized pro-resolving mediators.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / pathology*
  • Animals
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / pathology*
  • Lipid Metabolism / drug effects


  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3