Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Nothing fishy about it: Fish oil can boost the immune system

Date:
April 1, 2013
Source:
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Summary:
Fish oil rich in DHA and EPA is widely believed to help prevent disease by reducing inflammation, but until now, scientists were not entirely sure about its immune enhancing effects. A new report helps provide clarity on this by showing that DHA-rich fish oil enhances B cell activity, a white blood cell, challenging the notion that fish oil is only immunosuppressive.

Fish oil rich in DHA and EPA is widely believed to help prevent disease by reducing inflammation, but until now, scientists were not entirely sure about its immune enhancing effects. A new report appearing in the April 2013 issue of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, helps provide clarity on this by showing that DHA-rich fish oil enhances B cell activity, a white blood cell, challenging the notion that fish oil is only immunosuppressive. This discovery is important as it shows that fish oil does not necessarily reduce the overall immune response to lower inflammation, possibly opening the doors for the use of fish oil among those with compromised immune systems.

"Fish oil may have immune enhancing properties that could benefit immunocompromised individuals," said Jenifer Fenton, Ph.D., M.P.H., a researcher involved in the work from the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan.

To make this discovery, researchers used two groups of mice. One group was fed a control diet, and the other was fed a diet supplemented with DHA-rich fish oil for five weeks. B cells were harvested from several tissues and then stimulated in culture. Researchers then looked for markers of B cell activation on the cell surface, B cell membrane changes, and B cell cytokine production. They found that DHA-enriched fish oil enhanced B cell activation and select antibody production, which may actually aid immune responses associated with pathogen clearance, while possibly dampening the totality of the inflammatory response.

"This work confirms similar findings on fish oil and B cells from our lab, and moves us one step closer to understanding the immune enhancing properties of EPA and DHA," said S. Raza Shaikh, Ph.D., a researcher also involved in the work from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at East Carolina University.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. E. A. Gurzell, H. Teague, M. Harris, J. Clinthorne, S. R. Shaikh, J. I. Fenton. DHA-enriched fish oil targets B cell lipid microdomains and enhances ex vivo and in vivo B cell function. Journal of Leukocyte Biology, 2012; 93 (4): 463 DOI: 10.1189/jlb.0812394

Cite This Page:

Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "Nothing fishy about it: Fish oil can boost the immune system." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 April 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130401111545.htm>.
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. (2013, April 1). Nothing fishy about it: Fish oil can boost the immune system. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130401111545.htm
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "Nothing fishy about it: Fish oil can boost the immune system." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130401111545.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins