The Swedish team wrote in the Nutrients Journal describing the regimen as potentially beneficial for diseases of inflammatory origin such as hypertriglyceridemia and diabetes, as well as improving intestinal-brain communication.
“The positive effects of omega-3s and probiotics (individually and combined) go beyond gastrointestinal health and include positive effects on the gut-brain axis and neurological function,” says the team, led by Dr. Ashley Hutchinson, Associate Lecturer at Örebro University in Sweden.
“There is early evidence that omega-3s act as prebiotic compounds and can help build healthy gut microbiota populations.”
Omega-3 fatty acid and probiotic supplementation has been linked to positive metabolic outcomes in the past, especially in diabetics and pre-diabetics who have improvements in blood sugar levels and insulin metabolism.
The combination of these elements also ties in with new research that combines inflammation and metabolic diseases and increases the possibilities of the mixture’s immune-modulating effect.
Certain dietary habits and supplements, such as probiotics and omega-3 fatty acids, have been shown to increase the diversity of the gut microbiota composition, thereby reducing low-severity inflammation.
Combining probiotics and omega-3 fatty acid supplements can be a particularly beneficial strategy as they appear to promote health in different areas through synergistic effects.
Mixed benefits .
The overview outlines the possibilities of this line of research with reference to a growing body of evidence suggesting that the mixture can combine the prebiotic effects of omega-3 fatty acids with the balancing effects of probiotics in the intestine.
“Although the mechanism is not well understood, omega-3 fatty acids appear to interact with the gastrointestinal microbiota and can increase levels of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) suppressive bacteria (i.e. bifidobacteria) and decrease LPS producing bacteria (i.e. enterobacteria).” The researchers say.
The team, which includes colleagues from Linköping University in Sweden, also sheds light on the connection between long-chain omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and a lean phenotype..
One thing they have in common is the common pathways that fatty acids and the intestinal microbiota have in inhibiting and activating the immune system.
Studies have shown that saturated fatty acids (SFAs) are linked to negative changes in gut microbiota, leaky gut, weight gain, and pro-inflammatory status.
In contrast, omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties, can prevent leaky gut, and positively modulate the host’s microbial ecosystems.
The team suggests that the anti-inflammatory effects of omega-3 fatty acids could improve microbiome composition due to products of DHA metabolism.
“While SFAs improve intestinal permeability, supplementing with DHA can help maintain the integrity of the intestinal epithelial cell barrier despite excessive dietary SFAs,” the team writes.
“The increase in LPS results from a high-fat diet, possibly mediated by intestinal permeability. This increases LPS absorption and thereby increases the risk of metabolic endotoxemia, inflammation of adipose tissue and metabolic disorders.”
To conclude the review, the team referred to studies suggesting a positive influence of omega-3s and probiotics (individually and combined) on low-grade inflammation.
They add that these effects go beyond gastrointestinal health and include beneficial effects on the gut-brain axis and neurological function.
“Hypothetically, the combination of omega-3 fatty acids with probiotics offers a promising strategy to prevent the development of a highly inflammatory disease and to offer non-pharmaceutical treatments,” the team concludes.
“This can be particularly relevant in patient groups who suffer from increased systemic inflammation, e. B. in the elderly and obese. .
“However, this research field still needs well-conducted and properly controlled clinical studies to further substantiate this hypothesis.”
Published online: doi.org/10.3390/nu12082402.
“The Potential Effects of Probiotics and ω-3 Fatty Acids on Chronic Low-Grade Inflammation.”
Authors: Ashley Hutchinson et al.