Omega-3 PUFAs Lower the Propensity for Arachidonic Acid Cascade Overreactions.
Biomed Res Int. 2015 ;2015:285135. Epub 2015 Aug 2. PMID: 26301244
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.