Send to

Choose Destination
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2014 Oct;18(20):3086-90.

Omega-3 fatty acids: a novel resort against gastrointestinal injury.

Author information

Division of Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, School of Medicine, Rome, Italy.


The integrity of gastric barrier derives from the balance between defending and damaging factors. In particular, prostaglandins play a relevant role in the maintenance of gastric homeostasis and prevention of peptic disease, at different levels. Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly eicosapentanoic acid, are the precursors of the third series of prostaglandins (with anti-inflammatory properties), also reducing the formation of the second series of prostaglandins (pro-inflammatory ones). Such a pathophysiological rationale brought to the experimental application, both in animal models and, more recently, in humans, of omega-3 fatty acids against gastrointestinal damage. Omega-3 fatty acids have shown interesting results in preventing different types of gastric damage in mouse models. A large retrospective case-control study on patients taking both anti-thrombotic therapy and eicosapentanoic acid showed (although only at unadjusted analysis) an inverse correlation between consumption of eicosapentanoic acid and gastrointestinal injury. Prospective, well-designed, comparative studies are warranted to clarify if omega-3 fatty acids may represent, or not, a novel resort against gastrointestinal injury.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences
Loading ...
Support Center