Over time, chronic excess in food energy expands fat tissue by increasing the size (rather than the number) of fat cells. This seemingly simple mechanical modification in fat cells is associated with oxygen stress and a complex reprogramming of the immune potential. Compared to human evolutionary times, industrial societies consume much higher amounts of saturated and omega-6 fats, especially in relation to omega-3 fats. This profound shift strongly favors the formation of pro-inflammatory lipid mediators in the body—and an inflammatory phenotype with greater risk for immune and cardiometabolic issues.
In clinical and pre-clinical studies, increasing regular intakes of omega-3 fats shows cardioprotective effects and beneficially influences lipid and carbohydrate metabolism. The consumption levels at which these salutary effects are seen are relatively modest: no more than around 3 grams of omega-3 fats daily, by the researchers’ estimate.
How Energy Surplus Can Lead to Inflammation
Obesity is a complex condition, having metabolic as well as behavioral contributing factors. Quality and quantity of dietary fat links many of these, and this review presents compelling evidence that regular, moderate consumption of omega-3 fats provides dependable benefits to immune balance and insulin metabolism.