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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2014 May;133(5):1255-64. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2013.12.1087. Epub 2014 Mar 7.

Fatty acids, inflammation, and asthma.

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Asthma Institute, UPMC, Department of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Asthma Institute, UPMC, Department of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pa. Electronic address:


Fatty acids and consequently diet play an essential role in the formation of inflammatory mediators involved in the pathogenesis of asthma. Because intake variations of omega-6 (n-6) and omega-3 (n-3) fatty acids ultimately determine cell membrane incorporation, changes in diet have the potential to modify downstream production of inflammatory mediators derived from these compounds. It has long been hypothesized that decreasing the n-6/n-3 ratio could reduce the production of more proinflammatory mediators while increasing the formation of downstream metabolites that can serve to limit or resolve inflammation. In turn, these changes would result in improved asthma outcomes or would lower the risk for asthma incidence. This review will focus on the role of fatty acid inflammatory and resolving mediators and will summarize the clinical and epidemiologic data on how diet and obesity alter fatty acid profiles that can contribute to asthma.


Asthma; diet; fatty acids; inflammation; n-3; n-6; obesity; resolution

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