Send to

Choose Destination
Environ Health Perspect. 2008 Sep;116(9):1237-42. doi: 10.1289/ehp.10578.

The effect of supplementation with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on markers of oxidative stress in elderly exposed to PM(2.5).

Author information

Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública, Cuernavaca, Morelos, México.



The mechanisms of particulate matter (PM)-induced health effects are believed to involve inflammation and oxidative stress. Increased intake of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) appears to have anti-inflammatory effects.


As part of a trial to evaluate whether n-3 PUFA supplementation could protect against the cardiac alterations linked to PM exposure, we measured biomarkers of response to oxidative stimuli [copper/zinc (Cu/Zn) superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, lipoperoxidation (LPO) products, and reduced glutathione (GSH)] and evaluated the impact of supplementation on plasma levels.


We recruited residents from a nursing home in Mexico City chronically exposed to PM < or = 2.5 microm in aerodynamic diameter (PM(2.5)) and followed them from 26 September 2001 to 10 April 2002. We randomly assigned subjects in a double-blind fashion to receive either fish oil (n-3 PUFA) or soy oil. We measured PM(2.5) levels indoors at the nursing home, and measured Cu/Zn SOD activity, LPO products, and GSH at different times during presupplementation and supplementation phases.


Supplementation with either fish or soy oil was related to an increase of Cu/Zn SOD activity and an increase in GSH plasma levels, whereas exposure to indoor PM(2.5) levels was related to a decrease in Cu/Zn SOD activity and GSH plasma levels.


Supplementation with n-3 PUFA appeared to modulate the adverse effects of PM(2.5) on these biomarkers, particularly in the fish oil group. Supplementation with n-3 PUFA could modulate oxidative response to PM(2.5) exposure.


PM2.5; biological markers; omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA); oxidative stress

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center