Lounge Doctor

Chronic inflammation and fatty acids


Nutritional Advisor
Sep 5, 2011
Australia Australia
Chronic inflammation and fatty acids

Chronic inflammation is a major factor in a wide range of health issues in the body. Medical research demonstrates this from arthritis to cardiovascular disease.

This article concentrates on the topic of chronic inflammation in regard to arthritis, a topic close to the heart of all joint replacement folk and endeavors to discuss how we can help ourselves through diet (such as oily fish) and possibly supplementation. My preferred approach is to go for the nutritional options before supplementing and I am in the process of writing other articles discussing the food sources for Fatty Acids.. watch this space!

C-reactive protein (CRP), is one of the most useful biomarkers of inflammation. It is produced by the liver and rises when there is inflammation throughout the body. It appears to be a central player in the harmful effects of systemic inflammation. CRP levels are stable over long periods, having no diurnal (relating to a 24 hour period) variation and can be measured inexpensively via a blood test. It is not a specific test. That means it can reveal that you have inflammation somewhere in your body, but it cannot pinpoint the exact location.

In arthritic joints CRP production reflects the release of proinflammatory cytokines, which are essential in the mechanism of cartilage degeneration. CRP is significantly increased in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and slightly but significantly higher in patients with osteoarthritis than in matched controls.

Krill Oil - Omega 3 Fatty Acids (EPA/DHA) biochemistry and chronic inflammation

A recent research report suggest that fish oil, DHA is used within the body to create Maresins (which are novel macrophage mediators with potent anti-inflammatory and pro-resolving actions which appear to cause macrophages 'to turn off' inflammation. So what are Macrophages?.

They are white blood cells within our tissues and along with monocytes their role is to phagocytosis (engulf and the digest) cellular debris and pathogens and to stimulate lymphocytes and other immune cells to respond to the pathogen.

If you have ever been lucky enough to see live blood examination (I have many times) it is fascinating to see the phagocytes going about the daily business of surrounding a parasite or pathogen and gobbling it up, literally rendering it gone! They act as either stationary or mobile cells, so either sit there opportunistically waiting for a 'nasty' to come along or they are mobile and can detect and actively move (very quickly) towards the 'nasty'.

If you plan to take supplements in the form of Fatty Acids, investigate a good quality Krill Oil (however, there are many other types of fatty acids)

Krill are high in phospholipids which are structural components of human cell membranes. In Krill, these phospholipids are bound to the Omega 3 fatty acids (EPA/DHA) and preliminary evidence suggests this structure facilitates delivery of EPA and DHA into the body.

The Human cell membranes consist of two layers of phospholipids that surround the cytoplasm. The cytoplasm consists of all of the contents outside of the nucleus and enclosed within the cell membrane of a cell. This includes lots of different components including organelles such as the mitochondria (power house of every cell within the body, Mitochondria = energy). Also located within the cytoplasm is the cytoskeleton, a network of fibers that help the cell maintain its shape and give it support. The cytoplasm helps to move materials around the cell and also dissolves cellular waste.

Phospholipids separate the inner cell elements from the outer and determine the substances that can enter and leave the cell. They are highly effective in the delivery of fatty acids into cell membranes and they have been found to have better availability and are efficiently incorporated into the cell membranes.

Scientific research and outcomes are proving that Krill is a more efficient and effective source of the essential Omega 3 fatty acid, and issues of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition shows that a modest daily dose (refer to your product directions) of krill oil markedly reduces inflammation and reduces the pain, stiffness and functional impairment associated with rheumatoid and osteoarthritis.

Just one point to make, if you are taking NSAIDs and commence taking Omega 3 Fatty Acids research has found that there may be a rise in your CRP which they have indicated could be due to a rebound effect.


Cheers, Poppet.

Disclaimer: The information on dietary factors, foods, and beverages contained in this article does not cover all possible uses, actions, precautions, side effects, and interactions. It is not intended as medical advice for individual problems. Liability for individual actions or omissions based upon the contents of this article is expressly disclaimed. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of all medical conditions including the taking of supplements.


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