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eISSN: 1643-3750

Can perinatal supplementation of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids prevent atopy, bronchial asthma and other inflammatory conditions?

Undurti N. Das

Med Sci Monit 2006; 12(6): RA99-111

ID: 451281

Available online: 2006-06-01

Published: 2006-06-01


I suggest that perinatal supplementation of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs) protects against the development of childhood and adult life eczema, atopy, bronchial asthma and other inflammatory conditions. LCPUFAs modulate T(H)1 and T(H)2 cell generation and their cytokine production such that the balance is tilted more towards the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines. In addition, LCPUFAs form precursors to anti-inflammatory products such as resolvins, lipoxins, and aspirin-triggered 15 epimer LXs (ATLs), nitric oxide, prostaglandin E1 and prostacyclin (PGI2) that suppress inflammatory process and enhance healing of tissue injury with little or no loss of function. These beneficial actions of LCPUFAs explain the protective effect of exclusive breast-feeding against eczema and other childhood allergies, and decreased incidence of several other inflammatory conditions in adult life since human breast milk contains substantial amounts of these long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Keywords: Cytokines - metabolism, Breast Feeding, Asthma - prevention & control, Fatty Acids, Unsaturated - metabolism, Hypersensitivity, Immediate - prevention & control, T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer - immunology



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