In an article published in the June issue of the AMA Archives of Surgery (Arch Surg. 2010;145(6):515-520), Cherif Boutros, MD, MSc, Department of Hepatobiliary and Surgical Oncology, Roger Williams Medical Center, Providence, Rhode Island, and his coworkers, observe that while Omega-3 ({omega}-3) fatty acids have been clinically and experimentally associated with the amelioration of chronic and acute inflammation the mechanisms for these observations have not been well defined.

During the past decade, laboratories of nutrition and inflammation have demonstrated that the anti-inflammatory activities of {omega}-3 fatty acids occur at least in part through the inhibition of macrophage-elaborated tumor necrosis factor production and through inactivation of the nuclear factor?{kappa}B signaling pathway subsequently altering proinflammatory cytokine transcription. These observations led to further experiments that support a role for {omega}-3 fatty acids in the restoration of apoptosis in various chemoresistant tumor models through a similar inactivation of the nuclear factor?{kappa}B signaling pathway.

Nutrional Modulation
The potential for nutritional modulation of host inflammation has been an ongoing and expanding area of investigation. An increased emphasis has been placed on the potential for diet and dietary supplements to serve as modulators of host response to disease, injury, and infection.

Cherif Boutros, MD, MSc, Ponnandai Somasundar, MD, Anthony Razzak, MD, Scott Helton, MD, N. Joseph Espat, MD, MS, [1] Omega-3 Fatty Acids Investigations From Cytokine Regulation to Pancreatic Cancer Gene Suppression Arch Surg. 2010;145(6):515-520.
[2] Effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acids on Cancer (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2005)
[3] Omega-3: Understanding the Benefits (Vitaelin Nutraceuticals, 2008).

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