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Researchers Shed Light On Role Of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), studying the potential role of omega-3 fatty acids in preventing asthma attacks and allergic reactions, have identified a molecule produced by the body that helps alleviate respiratory attacks in lab mice.

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Resolvin E1, the molecule generated by the body, is a product of an omega-3 fatty acid. Fresh water fish such as salmon, anchovies and mackerel are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Previous studies have shown that people who consume high levels of omega-3 rich fish are less likely to be asthmatic, however, why this is so has not been clear. In this study, the researchers were able to show the key role resolvin E1 plays in reducing inflammation in the airway and helping to quickly clear respiratory attacks.

"The findings are exciting," said Levy. "They shed light onto the natural processes that resolve asthma attacks and on resolvin E1’s potential therapeutic actions for asthma and other inflammatory diseases."

The research was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a component of the National Institutes of Health.