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Int J Mol Sci. 2017 Dec 7;18(12). pii: E2645. doi: 10.3390/ijms18122645.

Impact of Omega-3 Fatty Acids on the Gut Microbiota.

Author information

1
Department of Ecological and Biological Sciences (DEB), Tuscia University, Largo dell'Università snc, 01100 Viterbo, Italy. lara.cost@libero.it.
2
Department of Ecological and Biological Sciences (DEB), Tuscia University, Largo dell'Università snc, 01100 Viterbo, Italy. rominamolinari@libero.it.
3
Department of Ecological and Biological Sciences (DEB), Tuscia University, Largo dell'Università snc, 01100 Viterbo, Italy. barbara.farinon@gmail.com.
4
Department of Ecological and Biological Sciences (DEB), Tuscia University, Largo dell'Università snc, 01100 Viterbo, Italy. merendin@unitus.it.

Abstract

Long-term dietary habits play a crucial role in creating a host-specific gut microbiota community in humans. Despite the many publications about the effects of carbohydrates (prebiotic fibers), the impact of dietary fats, such as omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), on the gut microbiota is less well defined. The few studies completed in adults showed some common changes in the gut microbiota after omega-3 PUFA supplementation. In particular, a decrease in Faecalibacterium, often associated with an increase in the Bacteroidetes and butyrate-producing bacteria belonging to the Lachnospiraceae family, has been observed. Coincidentally, a dysbiosis of these taxa is found in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Omega-3 PUFAs can exert a positive action by reverting the microbiota composition in these diseases, and increase the production of anti-inflammatory compounds, like short-chain fatty acids. In addition, accumulating evidence in animal model studies indicates that the interplay between gut microbiota, omega-3 fatty acids, and immunity helps to maintain the intestinal wall integrity and interacts with host immune cells. Finally, human and animal studies have highlighted the ability of omega-3 PUFAs to influence the gut-brain axis, acting through gut microbiota composition. From these findings, the importance of the omega-3 connection to the microbiota emerges, encouraging further studies.

KEYWORDS:

DHA; EPA; behavioral disorders; dysbiosis; gut microbiota; inflammation; omega-3 PUFAs

PMID:
29215589
PMCID:
PMC5751248
DOI:
10.3390/ijms18122645
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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