Within the adipose tissue of obese individuals, some degree of hypoxia (low oxygen levels) is considered to contribute to distressed immunometabolic messaging. Changes in evidence of this include tissue infiltration by pro-inflammatory M1 macrophages and genetic upregulation of molecules that communicate oxygen stress. Dietary factors strongly influence adiposity as well as the development of chronic inflammation.
By the same token, dietary strategies may also help alleviate metabolic stress, and by doing so aid immune balance. Research is especially compelling for decreasing dietary omega-6:omega-3 ratios to support cardiometabolic function and enhance tissue contents of pro-resolving lipid mediators—which are metabolites of omega-3 fats.
In this eight-week study, 55 severely obese (BMI ≥40) individuals were randomized to receive either 3.36 grams of omega-3 fats (EPA and DHA) or butterfat daily. Researchers tested participants for blood, tissue, and anthropometric measures of immune activation and metabolic health before and after intervention.
Omega-3s Help “Resuscitate” Immune-Activated Fat Tissue
The human metabolic requirements for essential fats is considered by many researchers to be elevated in obesity and in cardiometabolic and inflammatory conditions—yet this and other studies find daily intakes of omega-3 fats considerably lower than basic recommendations. This study demonstrates that generous supplementation with EPA and DHA can benefit immune balance by improving adipose tissue contents of lipid mediators.