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Calif Agric (Berkeley). 2011 Jul;65(3):106-111.

Dietary omega-3 fatty acids aid in the modulation of inflammation and metabolic health.

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Associate Director of Scientific Development and Translation, Foods for Health Institute, Department of Food Science and Technology, UC Davis.
Undergraduate Research Assistant, Foods for Health Institute, UC Davis.
Director, Foods for Health Institute, and Professor, Department of Food Science and Technology, UC Davis.
Distinguished Professor, Department of Entomology, UC Davis.


This article focuses on the role of omega-3 fatty acids as precursors for lipid signaling molecules known as oxylipins. Although omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial in autoimmune disorders, inflammatory diseases and heart disease, they are generally underrepresented in the American diet. A literature review confirms that the consumption of omega-3 fatty acids - whether in food sources such as walnuts, flax seeds and fatty fish (including salmon and sardines), or in supplements - is associated with decreased morbidity and mortality. This growing body of evidence, including the results of a recent study of patients with kidney disease, highlights the need to measure omega-3 fatty acids and their oxylipin products as markers of metabolic health and biomarkers of disease. In addition, there is substantial evidence of the need to increase the omega-3 fatty acid content of American diets to optimize metabolic health.

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