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Am J Clin Nutr. 1996 Jan;63(1):116-22.

The effect on human tumor necrosis factor alpha and interleukin 1 beta production of diets enriched in n-3 fatty acids from vegetable oil or fish oil.

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Rheumatology Unit, Royal Adelaide Hospital, Australia.


The effect of a flaxseed oil-based diet on tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF alpha) and interleukin 1 beta (IL-1 beta) synthesis was examined in healthy volunteers. Use of flaxseed oil in domestic food preparation for 4 wk inhibited TNF alpha and IL-1 beta production by approximately 30%. Fish-oil supplementation (9 g/d) continued for a further 4 wk; TNF alpha and IL-1 beta synthesis were inhibited by 74% and 80%, respectively. There was a significant inverse exponential relation between TNF alpha or IL-1 beta synthesis and mononuclear cell content of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), an n--3 fatty acid derived from ingested EPA (fish oil) or metabolism of ingested alpha-linolenic acid (flaxseed oil). Cytokine production decreased as cellular EPA increased to approximately 1% of total fatty acids. Further increases in EPA content did not result in further decreases in cytokine production. The results indicate that vegetable oils rich in n--3 fatty acids inhibit TNF alpha and IL-1 beta synthesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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