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J Lipid Res. 2014 Nov;55(11):2401-7. doi: 10.1194/jlr.M045583. Epub 2014 Sep 3.

Short-term n-3 fatty acid supplementation but not aspirin increases plasma proresolving mediators of inflammation.

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School of Medicine and Pharmacology, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia.
Royal Perth Hospital Unit, and Western Australian Institute for Medical Research, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia.


Resolution of inflammation is an active process involving specialized proresolving mediators (SPM) formed from the n-3 fatty acids. This study examined the effect of n-3 fatty acid supplementation and aspirin on plasma SPMs in healthy humans. Healthy volunteers (n = 21) were supplemented with n-3 fatty acids (2.4g/day) for 7 days with random assignment to take aspirin (300 mg/day) or placebo from day 5 to day 7. Blood was collected at baseline (day 0), day 5, and day 7. Plasma 18R/S-HEPE, E-series resolvins, 17R/S-HDHA, D-series resolvins, 14R/S-HDHA, and MaR-1 were measured by LC/MS/MS. At baseline concentrations of E- and D- series resolvins and the upstream precursors 18R/S-HEPE, 17R/S-HDHA ranged from 0.1nM to 0.2nM. 14R/S-HDHA was 3-fold higher than the other SPMs at baseline but MaR-1 was below the limit of detection. Supplementation with n-3 fatty acids significantly increased RvE1, 18R/S-HEPE, 17R/S-HDHA, and 14R/S-HDHA but not other SPMs. The addition of aspirin after 5 days of n-3 fatty acids did not affect concentrations of any SPM. N-3 fatty acid supplementation for 5 days results in concentrations of SPMs that are biologically active in healthy humans. Aspirin administered after n-3 fatty acids did not offer any additional benefit in elevating the levels of SPMs.


inflammation; n-3 fatty acids; protectins; resolvins

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