Studies have shown that Omega-3s can help fight inflammation, a natural response to infection and damage in the body. The study, published in the journal Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids, indicated that the intake of omega-3 fatty acids could reduce fatality rates in COVID-19 patients.
Omega-3s fatty acids are important components of cell membranes that contribute to the structure, fluidity, flexibility, enzymatic activity and signaling between cells. The balance of omega-3s within the cell membranes is of key importance, particularly in the regulation of inflammation, and this balance ultimately contributes to disease protection or susceptibility.
When the body is infected with a microorganism, such as a virus like SARS-CoV-2, infection leads to several responses from cells of the immune system, one of which is an appropriate activation of the inflammatory response. Omega-3s in the cell membrane are activated in different ways to play different roles in inflammation.
Omega-3s (such as DHA and EPA) are anti-inflammatory and promote the resolution of the inflammatory process. Omega-3s may counteract chronic inflammation.
Omega-3 fatty acids play a direct role in immune system function. They are incorporated into the membrane of immune cells, and have been shown to increase the activation of specific immune cells, such as macrophages, neutrophils, and dendritic cells (the first-responders that help identify pathogen or virus in the case of an infection), T-cells (that destroy the pathogen or virus) and B-cells (to remember the pathogen or virus and act immediately to destroy it in the case of a future infection), among others.
It is well known that Omega-3 fatty acids have the potential to enhance the antiviral response due to effects of Omega-3s on immune cells necessary for fighting a viral infection.
Omega-3 fatty acids may help prevent COVID-19 disease by increasing the activity of immune cells needed to identify and destroy the virus, promoting T regulatory cell development and a controlled inflammatory process, inhibiting inflammation, decreasing the production of inflammatory chemicals, and preventing a cytokine storm.
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