PUFAs Fight Neuroinflammation
April 21, 2010
BORDEAUX, France—Neuroinflammation alters mood, behavior and cognition, and the proliferation of proinflammatory cytokines can lead to depression and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and age-related dementia. A review out of INRA noted polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are essential components of the membranes of neurons and glial cells, which comprise the innate immune system of the brain (Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2010 Apr-Jun;82(4-6):295-303). Omega-3 PUFAs are primarily anti-inflammatory, while omega-6s are precursors of prostaglandins and pro-inflammatory cytokines. The amounts of omega-3s and omega-6s consumed through the diet therefore have a significant impact on neuroinflammation, either minimizing or exacerbating it, which may be one way omega-3s work to protect against age-related neurodegenerative diseases.