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J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2010 May;50(5):537-44. doi: 10.1097/MPG.0b013e3181b47967.

Supplementation with fatty acids influences the airway nitric oxide and inflammatory markers in patients with cystic fibrosis.

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Departments of Pediatrics, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.



To obtain a balance in the fatty acid (FA) metabolism is important for the inflammatory response and of special importance in cystic fibrosis (CF), which is characterized by impaired FA metabolism, chronic inflammation, and infection in the airways. Nitric oxide (NO) has antimicrobial properties and low nasal (nNO) and exhaled NO (FENO), commonly reported in CF that may affect bacterial status. The present study investigates the effect of different FA blends on nNO and FENO and immunological markers in patients with CF.


Forty-three patients with CF and "severe" mutations were consecutively enrolled in a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study with 3 FA blends containing mainly n-3 or n-6 FA or saturated FA acting as placebo. FENO, nNO, serum phospholipid concentrations of FA, and biomarkers of inflammation were measured before and after 3 months of supplementation.


Thirty-five patients in clinically stable condition completed the study. The serum phospholipid FA pattern changed significantly in all 3 groups. An increase of the n-6 FA, arachidonic acid, was associated with a decrease of FENO and nNO. The inflammatory biomarkers, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and interleukin-8 decreased after supplementation with n-3 FA and erythrocyte sedimentation rate increased after supplementation with n-6 FA.


This small pilot study indicated that the composition of dietary n-3 and n-6 FA influenced the inflammatory markers in CF. FENO and nNO were influenced by changes in the arachidonic acid concentration, supporting previous studies suggesting that both the lipid abnormality and the colonization with Pseudomonas influenced NO in the airways.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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