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Scientists discover how omega-3 fatty acids shut down inflammation and reverse diabetes

May 30, 2017

What any of this means for humans isn't yet clear, but a large number of people are already supplementing their diets with fish oil and an omega-3 prescription drug is already on the market for some indications. Olefsky isn't going to make any recommendation at this point, but says he doesn't see much of a downside to taking the supplements "as long as it isn't in enormous doses."

There are more details the researchers hope to work out. For one, omega-3s seem to block the migration of macrophage cells into body tissues. "It's a remarkable effect, and we don't know its action," he said.

While omega-3s appear to be very good at what they do in activating GPR120 to curb inflammation, it's possible that a small molecule could be found to work even better, Olefsky said, noting that omega-3 has a relatively low affinity for the receptor.

One interesting tidbit that Olefsky says even many scientists don't know: Like us, fish don't actually produce omega-3 fatty acids very efficiently at all. Instead, they become enriched with the fatty acids by eating algae.

Source: Cell Press