Fish oil fatty acids for aging disorders

Jyothi Maria Veigas, Gabriel Fernandes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Healthy aging is crucial for achieving a prolonged, disease-free life span in humans. In recent years, the shift in n-6: n-3 fatty acid ratio to as high as 20:1 from an ideal ratio of about 4:1 has been found to be a major cause of chronic inflammation and associated rise in cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, as well as autoimmune disorders in aging population. This chapter describes the role of n-3 fatty acids in conferring protection against cardiovascular disorders and age-related bone disorders such as osteoporosis. Fish oil fatty acids are believed to protect against inflammatory disorders and cardiovascular events through complex mechanisms including regulation of transcription factors involved in inflammation such as prostaglandins, leukotrienes, protectins, and resolvins by docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentanoic acid (EPA). Recent studies strongly suggest that DHA has a more potent and beneficial effects than EPA. Further, age-related bone loss in the elderly and in postmenopausal women is a global health concern. n-3 fatty acids are found to participate in bone remodeling through modulation of factors in the bone microenvironment. Rise in inflammation owing to increased inflammatory cytokine levels during aging contributes to the imbalance of cytokines such as TNF-α and IL-6 which are linked to the activation of osteoclasts and the loss of osteoblasts. The n-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA protect against age-related bone loss in animal models and in humans as evidenced by their positive effects on bone mineral density, bone turnover markers, as well as inflammatory markers. Further, an attempt has been made to describe the role of fish oil fatty acids in pain resolution and the importance of considering pain resolution parameters in randomized control trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOmega-3 Fatty Acids: Keys to Nutritional Health
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9783319404585
ISBN (Print)9783319404561
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Aging
  • Bone loss
  • Cardiovascular
  • DHA
  • EPA
  • Inflammation
  • n-3 fatty acids
  • Pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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