Omega-3 PUFAs Lower the Propensity for Arachidonic Acid Cascade OverreactionsReport as inadecuate

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BioMed Research International - Volume 2015 2015, Article ID 285135, 8 pages -

Review Article6100 Westchester Park Drive, Apartment 1219, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Received 22 September 2014; Revised 18 December 2014; Accepted 22 December 2014

Academic Editor: Achille Cittadini

Copyright © 2015 Bill Lands. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A productive view of the benefits from omega-3 n-3 nutrients is that the dietary essential omega-6 n-6 linoleic acid has a very narrow therapeutic window which is widened by n-3 nutrients. The benefit from moderate physiological actions of the arachidonic acid cascade can easily shift to harm from excessive pathophysiological actions. Recognizing the factors that predispose the cascade to an unwanted overactivity gives a rational approach for arranging beneficial interactions between the n-3 and n-6 essential nutrients that are initial components of the cascade. Much detailed evidence for harmful cascade actions was collected by pharmaceutical companies as they developed drugs to decrease those actions. A remaining challenge is to understand the factors that predispose the cascade toward unwanted outcomes and create the need for therapeutic interventions. Such understanding involves recognizing the similar dynamics for dietary n-3 and n-6 nutrients in forming the immediate precursors of the cascade plus the more vigorous actions of the n-6 precursor, arachidonic acid, in forming potent mediators that amplify unwanted cascade outcomes. Tools have been developed to aid deliberate day-to-day quantitative management of the propensity for cascade overactivity in ways that can decrease the need for drug treatments.

Author: Bill Lands



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