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Fish oil supplementation alters levels of lipid mediators of inflammation in microenvironment of acute human wounds


Reprint requests:
Jodi McDaniel, PhD, College of Nursing, The OH State University, Newton Hall, Room 372, 1585 Neil Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210-1289, USA.
Tel: +1 614-292-7976;
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Chronic wounds often result from prolonged inflammation involving excessive polymorphonuclear leukocyte activity. Studies show that the ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) found in fish oils generate bioactive lipid mediators that reduce inflammation and polymorphonuclear leukocyte recruitment in numerous inflammatory disease models. This study's purpose was to test the hypotheses that boosting plasma levels of EPA and DHA with oral supplementation would alter lipid mediator levels in acute wound microenvironments and reduce polymorphonuclear leukocyte levels. Eighteen individuals were randomized to 28 days of either EPA+DHA supplementation (Active Group) or placebo. After 28 days, the Active Group had significantly higher plasma levels of EPA (p<0.001) and DHA (p<0.001) than the Placebo Group and significantly lower wound fluid levels of two 15-lipoxygenase products of ω-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (9-hydroxyoctadecadienoic acid [p=0.033] and 15-hydroxyeicosatrienoic acid [p=0.006]), at 24 hours postwounding. The Active Group also had lower mean levels of myeloperoxidase, a leukocyte marker, at 12 hours and significantly more reepithelialization on Day 5 postwounding. We suggest that lipid mediator profiles can be manipulated by altering polyunsaturated fatty acid intake to create a wound microenvironment more conducive to healing.