Can fish oil provide protection against air pollution?
This study evaluated whether dietary fish-oil supplementation can protect the cardiovascular system against damage from exposure to air pollution (Lin Z, et.al., 2019).
It was a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial with 65 healthy college students in Shanghai, China.
Blood pressure and 18 biomarkers of systemic inflammation, coagulation, endothelial function, oxidative stress, antioxidant activity, cardiometabolism, and neuroendocrine stress response were measured.
The participants were given 2.5 g of fish oil daily or a placebo for 4 months.
The researchers observed beneficial effects of fish-oil supplementation on 5 biomarkers of inflammation, coagulation, endothelial function, oxidative stress, and neuroendocrine stress response in the fish-oil group.
Even if you are not exposed to as much air pollution as the participants of this study, taking a high-quality fish oil formula is an easy way to protect yourself from some of the harm of polluted air.
Fish oil in the form of triglycerides is more stable than oil in the form of ethyl esters which is more common.
Fish oil in a triglyceride form is also better absorbed than oil from ethyl esters (Beckerman B, et.al., 1990).
Beckermann B, Beneke M, Seitz I. Comparative bioavailability of eicosapentaenoic acid and
docasahexaenoic acid from triglycerides, free fatty acids and ethyl esters in volunteers .
Arzneimittelforschung. 1990 Jun;40(6):700-4.
Lin Z, Chen R, Jiang Y, Xia Y, Niu Y, Wang C, Liu C, Chen C, Ge Y, Wang W, Yin G, Cai J,
Clement V, Xu X, Chen B, Chen H, Kan H. Cardiovascular Benefits of Fish-Oil Supplementation
Against Fine Particulate Air Pollution in China. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2019 Apr
The anti-inflammatory effects of Omega 3 fatty acids are well known. Most people that eat a western diet can benefit from increasing the intake of Omega 3 fatty acid since their diet usually contains too much Omega 6 from vegetable oils and saturated fat from dairy and other animal sources. Most fish oils on the market are ethyl esters because that’s cheaper to produce. Fish oil in a triglyceride form is also better absorbed than ethyl esters.